New York City’s S.O.B.’s stage has been the proving ground for countless stars throughout the years, including J. Cole, Drake and Kanye West. Last night’s BET Music Matters showcase packed the Manhattan club to capacity with fans eager to see a new star, recent G-Unit Records signee Rotimi, rise to the occasion.
The multi-talented New Jersey native has been working tirelessly to become a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment world since his 2009 single “Beautiful Music” impacted overseas on African and European charts. He’s since landed acting roles in the hit Starz series Boss and Power, striking bonds with co-stars T.I. and 50 Cent along the way.
The cast of Starz hit show Power was in the building to support their co-star, along with many of the Maplewood, N.J. native’s hometown fans. Rotimi wowed the crowd with polished vocals and dance numbers, performing an impressive 20-minute set that included his new single with 50 Cent, “Lotto.”
Music Matters host Rodney Rikai reminisced to the crowd about the time he spent coaching a young Rotimi on Columbia High School’s basketball team, emphasizing how proud he was to see his longtime mentee’s phenomenal progression and work ethic. Joseph Sikora, who plays alongside Rotimi as Tommy Egan on Power, introduced his co-star to the stage as his “brother,” blaming the venue’s stifling heat on Rotimi’s fiery presence.
Rotimi shared the stage with featured Music Matters artists Lydia Caesar, Canei Finch, Finnli and Tyrik Ballard; all of whom showed and proved as promising acts to pay attention to in the near future. Canei, who has already worked with J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, had the New York crowd’s heads bumping in unison with his evolved take on New York’s classic boom bap style. Caesar commanded the crowd’s full attention from the moment she grabbed the mic, flaunting superb vocals and strong stage presence that set the bar for headliner Rotimi.
The man of the hour ultimately delivered, showing humility and gratitude to the crowd and to BET and S.O.B.’s for the opportunity. “S.O.B.'s is a legendary venue, so being invited to perform there is an honor in itself,” Rotimi said to BET.com following the show. “I’m blessed to be a part of all the dope talent that’s come out of [the] BET Music Matters series.”
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