All you gotta do is say, yes!


This is by far my favorite Floetry video. I like how this song makes me feel.

I really loved these two sisters together, but I know how it can be working with women who can’t seem to stop being angry! Simmer down ladies! Check the lyrics on this track. my favorite parts are in bold.

See I’ve been watching you for a while, when you smile and stuff
And I wanna know if I can be with you for the night, alright
Is that alright, baby, baby

There is only one, for me
You have made that a poss-ibility
We could take that step to see
If this is really gonna be
All you gotta do is say yes

All you gotta do is say yes
Don’t deny what you feel let me undress you, babe
Open up your mind and just rest
I’m about to let you know, you make me so 2x

So, so, so, so, so, so
You make me so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so

Loving you has taken time, taken time
But I always knew you could be mine
I recognize the butterflies inside me
Since it’s gonna be made tonight, tonight
All you gotta do is say yes

All you gotta do is say yes
Don’t deny what you feel let me undress you, babe
Open up your mind and just rest
I’m about to let you know you make me so 2x

So, so, so, so, so, so
You make me so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so

You make me so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so
You make me so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so

Click here to watch the music video for Say Yes.
Shila aka Kush

The Up Close and Personal Diaries


Kush Queendom Diaries

Welcome. I want to introduce to you my new series of articles and interviews titled: Up Close and Personal. They feature yours truly, but the goal is to speak with other women and men that I find to be significant. I will link them in the menu bar to replace the “Stories” tab. This is the first. Check it out. It’s just about me! Testing the waters to find harmony. Smile.


What is your real name? My name is Shila, but I have some aliases. It’s fun to use different names when writing, performing, or painting. Oh yes, those are some of the things that I do. Ok, so let’s talk about what you do. Honestly, I have a lot of talents and have not yet settled into one. I think as a society, or generation, we are a bit beyond the days where we worked 30 years and retired from the same company. The stability of this lifestyle can be comforting, but I am not that. I need rapid change. However, I need to maintain a steady cash flow to survive. Been shifting a lot lately to secure this level of my life. I live in America. Although I think the concept of money is full of shit, I still gotta pay bills. So how are you maintaining financially? It’s a combination of things. I have a gig and then I do freelance performance art, business writing, graphic designing, I’ve sold paintings. I wish to do better with selling my talents. My entrepreneurial side helps. Do you have children? No. How old are you? 29. Are you going to have children? What! Not sure. I really love my nieces and nephews and find comfort in them when I need to satisfy that instinct. However, I may in another life. What is your average day like? It is not a 9 to 5 type of day. It changes. I have worked very late into the night and very early. This way is better for me. My day is not all about work. I have time for reflection, exercise, connecting with people, some eating, spending time with nature like staring into the sky, walking by Lake Erie, smelling the flowers. It all matters. Hmm. Is this balance a challenge? Yes. I am learning that everything has to be in moderation. Too much or too little doesn’t work. Balance the scales to reduce stress. Have fun, but not before you give it your all. That’s nice. Is this actually working for you? Yes, but it does not exist in the element of perfection. I’m working it out. How are you maintaining your health? Herbs and holistic methods work best for me. I’ve eliminated bread as much as possible because of my sensitivity to gluten. Not much dairy, definitely not milk. Sweets on occasion, if at all. Today I wanted a Krispy Kreme donut, but I resisted. I like broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, potatoes, romaine salads with a vinaigrette. I cook veggies in as much garlic and capers as I can stand without becoming offensive to others… the smell! I eat corn chips with hummus weekly. If I am over a friends, I will eat a chip, but I stopped buying them. A few months ago I was adjusting to having gained 10 lbs. I was telling everyone. They were probably cursing me out in their minds because I was going on and on. I should have kept quiet. I was just surprised that one morning I got up and was much heavier than I’d ever been. I couldn’t fit my pants. I was irritated. People actually noticed that I had gained weight! Now recently, I lost 15 lbs without even being aware that I was losing weight. This happened in a month. It teaches me that I should not speak of the unimportant. I should just try to balance it all out. Make it count in a different way. My weight is not a problem. Just eat to live. No complaints. If I gain a little weight tone it up. If I lose it, do the same. I also love wine both dark and light. I am careful with the alcohol. It’s full of calories. But I like it too. Smile. That’s cool! Have you been published? Well, yes I have worked with a local magazine for a few years- articles, photos and photo manipulation, poetry, and this blog is a publication. I want to go farther with this, though. I want to do some serious editorial publishing. I want to conquer the challenges of reading. and get people to read what I write. I want to delve into the element of persuasion with the pen. What is your style of music? Oh my, it’s so much. Right now I am listening to N.E.R.D. and Kelis. In my music library you can find Badu, L. Hill, Sade, Sweetback, Gregory Isaacs, The Jackson 5, Common, Telepopmusik, The Roots, De La Soul, Tribe, Tupac, early Alicia Keys music, Esthero, Lucy Pearl, Aerosmith, Bjork and Portishead, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Amy Winehouse, Anita Baker, The Art of Noise, Asa, Nneka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Bilal, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Alanis Morisette, SWV, Brandy, Xscape, Janet Jackson, TLC, 702, 112, Donell Jones, Carl Thomas, Tweet, Enigma, Madonna, Etana, Eurythmics, Eric Roberson, Gaelle, Carlos Santana, Goodie Mob, Fisk University Jubilee Singers, Floetry, Watts Prophets, The Verve, Black Starr, Skye aka Morcheeba, Miles Davis, Musiq… and the list goes so far and wide. Lots of people have good things to say lyrically. You get excited about music? Most definitely. I love to hear a lot of the old and some new like LiAnn La Havas, Esperanza Spalding, Quadron, Janelle Monae… shit! I hesitate when talking about new music. I really have to search my brain when trying to think of newer artists that resonate. The world is evolving and there are still those out there with major talent. You have an interesting style. What inspires your dress code? It’s all me. I don’t mimic anyone or anything. When I’ve tried to be sexy or cute, it didn’t work out spiritually and it attracts an attention that I do not need. So I keep it queen-like. I’m Shila. That’s all. But, there are some artists out there whose styles I like. Les Nubians. Whoa! Beautiful. Erykah can do no wrong when it comes to dress! Nneka has this rugged look that I adore. Solange is OK because she isn’t mainstream with her dress code. I definitely dig her hair. Jill Scott has a nice look. Boy does she wear that smile! That’s pretty much it. I don’t model myself after anyone, though, especially not entertainers. Why did you name your blog African Essence? I was trying to represent what’s inside of me- the style, the story, the real deal. I feel close to my ancestors. I do not want to ever repress my true roots. I feel it in my soul. I love the culture within. I project it. I actually am at the point where I want to change the name. I’ve evolved into something else. That’s coming. I’ve noticed that you read a lot. Yes. Honestly, it has been so hard to maintain a regular reading schedule, but sometimes I have to just stop, put it all down and read…  and I don’t want to read online or using an eReader. I need the book to be in my hand. I want to feel the spine, the pages.Yes! Even with magazines and newspapers, CD inserts! I like the smell. I like the physical. Any favorites? For some reason Lerone Bennett Jr’s Before the Mayflower is a book that I cherish. I have 4 editions of it. My favorite mag is WaxPoetics. Whatchu know about it!? I discovered this magazine in ATL at a record store in Little Five Points. Been in love ever since. I read mostly non-fiction African-American Lit/Black Studies. I also read a lot of books based in Buddhist philosophies, art and science rituals, things like that. What is the up close series about? I tend to open up like a flower when I am around the right people. They love that I am not afraid to tell the truth. I love that they appreciate a good story and listen so well. I say some interesting things. I am more interested in the things that others have to say, so here I am. As an aspiring writer, it is important that I take this challenge- get people to open up just like me! It’s so much better when we tell the truth… with humility. Tell us something interesting, Shila. About you. Oh wow! I suppose this is the point of it all! Ok, so you really want to know? Here it is! I do not believe in religion or marriage as practiced in doctrine. I believe in a higher connection with the Creator, Universe, and with people! It gets better than what’s on paper and in a book. Don’t hate me! Smile. Peace.

Interview conducted by the spirit of Gil Scott-Heron – haha

Gotta, gotta read. Trying to finish the Questlove book and I am looking forward to reading The Hip Hop Generation by Bakari Kitwana.

16131189       The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture

Finding harmony,



I Write


Just Wanted to Share My Poetry

Just Wanted to Share My Poetry

Note: I tell people to refresh their pages because I am always changing things. However, keep in my mind, I have to protect my writing so the words that are not visible are on purpose! Smile. Copyright law Shila style! Embrace the digital art. Peace and love.

Snippets of my writing. Enjoy.

Shila aka Queen

P.S. We must read! On Friday, November 15 I had the pleasure of experiencing this very beautiful sister at Case Western Reserve University’s Think Tank hosted by the lovely Ms. Rhonda Williams.

Author: Sonia Sanchez


Homegirls and Handgrenades

Men That I Will Always Love… Musically :)


Seeing Usher on the cover of the November 2013 Men’s Health Magazine reminded me of the highs and lows of R&B music over the past decade or so. For me the music used to be all about the experiences of life and love, but now it has more of an egocentric nucleus with artists lashing out and praising themselves rather than the aforementioned. Call it evolution, but I call it disappointment! R&B was so pure, fun, mellow, groovy, enlightening, and worthwhile. I turn to the past to get stimulation…

Resurrecting the past is not always a good idea, but in 2013, it seems to be my only option when it comes to music. So, I turn to the men I loved in the 90s and early 2000s. I always get a kick out of these videos because they portray honest emotions, attitudes, and dress codes.


#1 Usher: You Don’t Have to Call  Usher has a lot of music that I like., but this is one of my favorites from him. Why? Because he was having so much fun in the video! He is constantly smiling (1:03, 2:03, 4:01, 4:40, 4:55) and he has some cool dance moves. I especially like when they are in the car and do the bounce! I also love the parking lot dance and the way the crew walked into the party! Hilarious and so cool. He had skates on his heels… oh my! I cannot get enough of this video. It always brings my mood up. Enjoy.

#2 Donell Jones: Where I Wanna Be  All I can say is that I get confused too sometimes Donell. We will work it out!

#3 Musiq Soulchild: HalfCrazy  You think that you are crazy? No, I am crazier Musiq! I love this song and I will always cherish your music because it helped me to understand a lot about emotions. Also, that kiss he delivered at 1:36! Whoo hoo! Makes me wanna…

#4 D’Angelo: Lady  I am waiting for the day when I can see a D’Angelo concert. You just don’t understand. And yes D’Angelo, I am your lady for life!

#5 Mos Def: Umi Says  Now known as Yasiin Bey, he is probably my mos fav lyricist of all time. Amazing at any thing he practices.

That’s it for now folks. These men… hmmmm

Kush Queendom

P.S. You might find this book to be valuable.

The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life

So I’ve Been Thinking


Just want to share some poetry.

So Ive Been Thinking

Kush aka Shila aka Queen

P.S. Listening to the Rebirth of Slick… because I’m Cool Like That