In what can feel like the long, final clutch of winter’s icy grip, February in Boston brings us some fiery concerts to heat up your nights until the March thaw. In addition to our staff picks we wanted to highlight a special show for Black History Month: On February 11 the Boston Center for the Arts is bringing a special hip hop edition of the #HELLABLACK series featuring local favorites Dutch ReBelle, Red Shaydez, Brandie Blaze, Oompa and Malia the Model. Don’t miss out!

Thursday, February 6th

Ben Cosgrove at the Lilypad – Selected by Knar

A seated show at one of the coziest venues in town, featuring one of our favorite local pianists? The atmospheric sounds of Ben Cosgrove have landed his albums on our annual “Best of” lists twice. Much of his music is inspired by natural landscapes: the swell of the lake’s tide on “Champlain,” a rippling melody that mirrors a river in Maine on “Kennebec” or the broad open spaces in Kansas on “Abilene.” Join him and 59 others (the seated capacity of the venue is around 60) for his solo performance in Inman square—and get ready to be transported.

Friday, February 7th

Rapsody at the Sinclair – Selected by Jared

Now a part of the elite ranks of rap game, North Carolina-born emcee Rapsody has earned Grammy nominations, five trips to the White House, and a deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation. Her years of grinding in the studio has paid off: as President of Motown Records Ethiopia Habtemariam mentions in the Netflix Series, Rapture, Rapsody can “hold her own with the Kendricks, the Coles… giving you that level of art that’s just incredible.” Her latest album, Eve, has been called a “masterpiece of hip hop feminism” by Rolling Stone and features head-nodding beats by 9th Wonder, one of Jay Z’s longest running producers. She delivers quote-worthy rhymes with an enviable swagger and verses by industry legends past and present like GZA from the Wu Tang Clan, Queen Latifah, and new rap sensation, Leikili47. Come out to The Sinclair on February 7th to hear the next chapter in the book of hip hop greats.

Saturday, February 8th

EarthGang at Royale – Selected by Kristen

The wildly colorful duo EarthGang are gracing Boston with their soulful funky raps this Saturday. Composed of brazen lyricists, Olu and WowGr8, these Atlanta-bred rappers established their tone early on with their 2013 debut, Shallow Graves For Toys. The album received praise from the masses, including Noisey, deeming it “one of the most well thought-out releases of the year.” Four albums, two EPs, and many features later they haven’t skipped a beat. Masters of potency, they contrast their hard-hitting verses with a buoyant, playful delivery; guaranteeing a striking, spirited (and sweaty) show.

Monday, February 10th

Tove Lo at House of Blues Boston – Selected by Alexis

Uncensored and uninhibited Swedish singer-songwriter and Grammy nominee Tove Lo is treating Boston to an intimate show. Named “Sweden’s darkest pop export” by Rolling Stone, the singer never fails to be brutally honest in creating her grunge-infused music. Tove Lo—confessional and often autobiographical—is performing a setlist punctuated with lustful and provocative lyrics, including hits “Habits (Stay High),” “Cool Girl,” “disco tits,” “Glad He’s Gone” and her latest, “Bikini Porn.” If you’re looking for a night filled with moody, brilliantly dark sets and poignant, raw vocals, check out Tove Lo at House of Blues.

Saturday, February 29th

Emily King at Somerville Theatre – Selected by Sarah

Fresh off a national tour opening for Sara Barellies, Grammy-nominated Emily King is back in Boston with an evening all on her own. Her latest acoustic release “Sides” indicates that we can expect a soul-filled evening of sultry notes, subtle vibrato, and smooth rhythm. Vocal precision is the centerpiece of King’s performance; each note is intentionally plucked on her vocal chords with gentle strength and emotion. She blends the intimacy of being a singer-songwriter with the easy listening feels of R&B through her soulful long held notes, funky rhythms, and jazz chords.

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