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Preston's picks

Posted 8:20am on Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2012

Rick Ross at College Park Center

Florida-based rapper Rick Ross (known to his parents as William Roberts) is probably off the radar for most folks, unless they're deeply immersed in hip-hop. Ross, despite validation from superstars like Jay-Z, T-Pain, Nelly or Drake and an occasional focus on Miami's violent drug trade, has just a handful of hit singles to his credit (the latest being So Sophisticated, from his most recent LP, God Forgives, I Don't). Although his authoritative voice has yet to break into the mainstream, he remains phenomenally popular with rap fans, and his Tarrant County gig is another coup for the University of Texas at Arlington's new venue. With Wale, Meek Mill and Machine Gun Kelly.

6 p.m. Saturday. College Park Center, Arlington. $52-$102.

R. Kelly at Verizon Theatre

For all of the colorful antics, salacious songs and genuine controversies over the course of his life and career, it's likely R. Kelly will be remembered for one thing: Trapped in the Closet, a genuinely bat-crap crazy song cycle that features the R&B vocalist playing a variety of characters in increasingly bizarre situations (you can track down the multi-part videos online). Lately, however, R. Kelly has been on something of a nostalgia kick, releasing records steeped in vintage soul sounds (2010's Love Letters and this year's Write Me Back). So it makes total sense that his current jaunt is called the "Single Ladies" Tour, right? Right. With Tamia.

7:30 p.m. Thursday. Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie. $47.50-$125.

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