Oak City Hustle
A New Home for Poetry & Spoken Word in Raleigh

A New Home for Poetry & Spoken Word in Raleigh

Spoken Word and Poetry has a new home in Raleigh, NC. Award winning Spoken Word artist and Raleigh native Dasan Ahanu has partnered with Smokin Grooves Bar & Grill to present one of the hottest open mics around. City Soul Café was a brainchild of Ahanu and Smokin Grooves owner Delph two years ago. They teamed up to present the first City Soul Café event at City Live Studios in August of 2011. The event brought a packed house and great feedback. When Delph got the opportunity to open Smokin Grooves he reached out to Ahanu to bring City Soul Café to the new venue.

Dasan Ahanu and Smokin Grooves owner Delph. Photo by adevphoto@gmail.com

Dasan Ahanu and Smokin Grooves owner Delph. Photo by adevphoto@gmail.com

City Soul Café Open Mic happens every Wednesday night. It starts at 8pm with a DJ spinning soul, R&B, and classic Hip Hop tunes. The list is open to poets, vocalists, lyricists, and musicians. All performances are acoustic or acapella. Ahanu keeps the audience engaged with segments like the “adult convo” where he poses a question related to life and relationships and then leads the audience in discussion. There is also the “old school moment” where the audience is challenged to a sing along competition where the last voice singing is the winner.

Ahanu also brings some of the most talented Spoken Word artists from across the country to feature at City Soul Café. Tony and Emmy award winning artist Georgia Me has featured. International touring artist and award wining poet Queen Sheba has featured. National touring artists such as Kane Smego (Chapel Hill, NC), Drew Law (Washington, DC), and 13 of Nazareth (Alexandria, VA) have also featured. The event has also showcased the band Epic Addiction. There are other phenomenal artists from across the country scheduled to feature in the coming months.

13 of Nazareth featuring at City Soul Cafe. Photo by adevphoto@gmail.com

13 of Nazareth featuring at City Soul Cafe. Photo by adevphoto@gmail.com

The goal of the event is to provide a home for independent artists to showcase their work for the community. Also, the event seeks to allow new voices an opportunity to express themselves in an open and welcoming environment. The hope is that artists both new and old will consider City Soul Café a place where they can share and learn. Ahanu believes that there is a wide audience of people who love the arts and want to have a place where they can enjoy poetry and more while having a good time amongst their peers.

Smokin Grooves Bar & Grill is at 2253 New Hope Church Rd, Raleigh, NC. You can find out more about the venue and other events at http://smokingroovesbarandgrill.com/

You can find out more about City Soul Café Open Mic at www.citysoulcafe.splashthat.com



Dasan Ahanu

Dasan Ahanu is a public speaker, organizer, workshop facilitator, poet, spoken word performer, songwriter, writer, emcee, and loyal Hip Hop head. An active part of North Carolina’s arts community, Dasan has hosted, coordinated, and promoted cultural arts and Hip Hop events across the state. He also develops creative writing programs with various arts organizations and institutions.


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