We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Known since the release of 1978’s The Cool Ruler by that moniker, Gregory Isaacs has long embodied the qualities it represents, with laid-back enunciation, rude boy posturing, and a lengthy string of Jamaican chart successes. In recent years, however, in an attempt to remain relevant to a younger audience preoccupied with speedier dancehall electrobeats, Isaacs has increased his tempos a tad. While such songwriting gambits occasionally sound forced and generic, especially coming in such quantity from an artist whose prolific release schedule outstrips even the busy Jamaican standard, Isaacs nevertheless manages to dispense enough tunefully arranged and cleverly played songs to make clear the reasons for his initial acclaim. The Cool Ruler is adept at socially conscious politicizing but much more interested in sexual and romantic wordplay these days, and his linguistic ratio of creativity to cliche is about the same as his musical one, but thanks to his still-passionate drawl, even lesser compositions can sound exquisite. With Willy Paul & DKGB and Ras-D at 8 p.m. at the Bayou, 3135 K St. NW. $22. (202) 333-2897. (Steve Kiviat)