There was something in the unusually warm New York City night air that set the tone for last night’s BET Music Matters showcase. Music lovers were buzzing around Santos Party House in anticipation of a garden variety of live music that would be a change of pace from the monotonous mainstream playlist on local radio stations. Well, they came to the right place because the show was loaded with multi-talented singers, rappers and songwriters who brought their "A" games.
The first act was NYC native Rob Murat, who had songs that painted pictures about his life story. The soulful singer mixed in his own songs, “Dilemma” and “Know," with a short cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Murat set the tone for the night and very energetic R&B singer Rashad didn’t drop the baton that was passed to him as he followed with a passionate effort.
Brooklyn native Cocoa Sarai did her borough proud. Already well represented by a contingent of fans, Cocoa gained more supporters after performing “Raining in My Room,” a cut about losing a significant other. Cocoa could’ve been the headliner with the love she got from the crowd. We’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of her in the future because, as she says, “everybody loves chocolate!”
Harlem MC Rugz D Bewler changed up the vibe a bit, but he brought the energy as well with his high energy rhymes.
The stunning and incredible headliner for the night was Cheri Dennis. Back in 2006, the former Bad Boy Records singer/songwriter shined in the spotlight with her hit single “I Love You,” but last night Dennis wasn’t going to give the fans what they wanted. "Some of you may know me from a little song called ‘I Love You’… but I’m not gonna do it tonight,” she said. Instead she gave them a host of new cuts that she has recorded in her absence away from the game. Dennis’ potent voice sounded pretty good and she still had the same affable onstage persona, engaging the crowd between each track.
The next BET Music Matters Showcase in NYC will be April 10 at 8 p.m. in Santos Party House.
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(Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)