Slam Nuba
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Slam Nuba

Band Spoken Word


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The best kept secret in music


"'We cut heads!' - Slam Nuba"

Last night I attended Slam Nuba featuring Christian Drake and the Denver Avengerz at the Crossroads Theater on 26th and Welton. It was hosted by Ayinde with DJ Cavem at the controls. I slipped into the lobby still in my work uniform trying to catch as much of the show as possible. Unfortunately I missed the Denver Avengerz's performance and some of the open mic. However, I was able to catch Christian Drake and the slam.

"This is nature poetry filtered through a guitar amp," is exactly how his poetry is described and I would agree. He opened up his set with a poem about cannibalistic love. Not exactly, but the metaphor is the butcher's "magic" that we take for granted. The butcher doesn't butcher, but performs magic so we can enjoy the choicest cuts of the meat. He has to know the where to cut and what each cut will reveal to our taste-buds. He has to be intimate with the dead animal. And this is where the butcher story bleeds into the intimacy between him and his lover at a delicious meal: Christian becomes the butcher. He intimately dissects his lover. Only a poet like Christian can pull this one off, making it a horrifyingly erotic slaughter.

Currently, is featuring Christian on their homepage. You can see his tour dates and contact him for more info.

The slam was my first that I judged: a daunting task. This is only because, as a result of the scores the three judges give, some poets don't make it to the next round. However, these poets are wonderful weavers of language and ideas, something that is surely hard to judge. If you don't know much about slams, then I suggest researching a bit on it. It's a different experience from a poetry reading. The biggest difference is the competition aspect and the audience participation. The audience is encouraged to respond, giving love and support to the poet on stage whom are exerting themselves. Judging the poets performance is based on the judges feeling about the poem on a scale from 1-10 and the most interesting part is that the host enjoys picking members from the audience whom have little experience with slams. Needless to say, it's always a surprise who advances and who doesn't.

I witnessed some heavy hitting poets on stage with the likes of Rob C, Paulie Lipman, Lucifury, and Panama Soweto. Panama Soweto walked away winning the slam with Lucifury coming in second. Panama Soweto won it for me with his poem about his little brother's imaginary friend Peter. It's a great performance and a tear jerker. Another of his poems was about making new words, his being "Gnuck." It's a quick social commentary on our pop culture hijacking the Hip Hop culture and its effects.

These slams are a sure fire hit with writers of every level and they induce inspiration in any artistic form. I walk away wanting to run to my turntables and start gettin' down. It's something about the power of words and the immense emotional response to the imagery these poets create. Not to mention that our poets here in Denver have visited, won, and been in the top ten of the National Poetry Slams that occur every year. It's an unfortunate secret here in Denver, but hopefully spreading the word will help get these guys the notary they deserve in their hometown.

Video available here:



2007 - Slam Nuba team compilation
2008 - Slam Nuba team compliation
2009 - Slam Nuba Live at the Crossroads



Slam Nuba was founded in 2006 and among its members are some the most highly ranked slam poets in the world.

Seasoned performers, each member is able to captivate audiences from 1 to 100,000. Slam Nuba has shared stages with musicians, poets, and activists ranging from Amy Goodman of Democracy Now to Dead Prez to Les Nubians.