Throwback Tonight: Happy Kwanzaa!


Tonight we dance!

The symbols of a culture, a heritage of humanity, mean a lot.  When they begin to disappear, be very concerned.  So, the moral of the story is:  wear your color, wear your art, wear your culture to remind you of where we been and we’re going.  Don’t give up.  Sankofa!

Besides, color is so dope!

I stay woke,
Shila Iris aka Honey



The Water


The water heals
so, I swim deep

the depth of it all
just seems so out of reach

so I fetch, dig deep in my memory
the spirits rise, so again I can see

at the bottom of the ocean
in Labadi beach
The horses, they come for me

I am the master of this ceremony
new life, new mind
3 dollars and 6 dimes
Cause the woman that knows something,
knows that she knows nothing at all

-by Shila Iris

Mood: Jesse Boykins III


If you don’t know him, you should.  Try him. I did, and I am very pleased…

Birthday:  February 20, 1985 (Age 32)

1.Jesse Boykins III & MeLo-X:  Black Orpheus…
“I played her heart strings…”

chase Jesse with Eric… “Met her at Howard, lived in the Towers, same floor that I was, which did allow us, to sit and talk for hours, in between dealings, and all this unveiling, clearly there was feelings…”

2. Eric Roberson:  A Tale of Two

Eric’s Birthday:  September 25, 1976 (Age 40)

chase Eric with Raheem…  “I’m so proud, to have a lady, a Queen who wears a crown…”

3. Raheem DeVaughn:  You

Raheem’s Birthday:  May 5, 1975 (Age 42)

Raheem with Bilal…  “I wish I was drug free, sometimes…”  

4. Bilal:  Sometimes

Bilal’s Birthday:  August 23, 1979 (Age 37)

and Bilal with Musiq…  “You’re my baby, my lover, my lady.  All night, you make me,
want you, it drives me crazy.  I feel, like you, were made just for me baby…”

5. Musiq: So Beautiful

Musiq’s Birthday:  September 16, 1977 (Age 39)

and then, with your last glass of wine before bed… “You won’t regret it no, no
Young girls they don’t forget it, love is their whole happiness, yeah, yeah, yeah…”

6.  Otis Redding:  Try a Little Tendeness

Otis’ Birthday:  September 9, 1941 (deceased at Age 26)

Jesse. Eric. Raheem. Bilal. Musiq.  In that order.  Otis. ♥

Peace and joy,

You got me…  I am Shila  (pronounced Shy-lah)

Whenever I got lonely, or needed some advice, he gave me his shoulder, his words were very nice…


I picks my friends, like I picks my fruit,
and granny told me that when I was only a youth,
I, don’t walk around trynna be what I’m not,
I don’t waste my time trynna get what you got.
I work at pleasing me, cause I can’t please you,
and that’s why, I do what I do,
My soul flies free like a willow tree…


He brought so much excitement to my day.  Spending hours in my cypher, he began to write poems, inspired by the way my mind floated.  He remained untainted by false profits, and listened to the elders.  He meant what he said.  He said, he’d see me through my healing.  He was strong.  He needed me, just as I needed him, sustained by my unpredictable existence, he levitated in the walls that I cultivated- orange and red hues, with yellow overtones.  My creations empower.   I am the water bearer, the loyal one.  Blossoming spirit, they desire, but I chose  him.  I swallowed his insecurities, and I deciphered his anger.  He gave to me purely, without expectations.

I am Shila Iris, life-sustaining…

The Orijin Store – Amazing African Accessories


Look closely at this bag.  Now scream!  This is absolutely beautiful.  For a person like me, who loves African and African-inspired fashion, I feel like I hit a gold mine.  Sistas and brothas, you must indulge in this greatness.

Today is Friday, and perhaps you have some extra cash, or disposable income left, and want to reward yourself for a goal that you accomplished.  Well, this is the way to do it! Check out the Orijin Store!  I am all about African fashion and this company hit the nail on the head with this line of amazing accessories.

Ori j i nal Design, Culturally Inspired.  Visit Orijins website to see the full collection of bags, glasses, and signature clothing.  Given my beliefs in living the Nguzo Saba 365, this is a purchase I can be proud of because it’s for us, by us.  You can share in this greatness too, if you’re ready.  Sure, break the rules!  🙂

I will be getting one of these amazing bags.  Based on my experiences with leather, the price is really good – $169.  I think you should go for it.  I love, love, love it.  No pressure, though, you don’t have to love it.  Just give it some time.  I’m sure you will.

Shot out to Orijin for supporting my art on Instagram.  Much love.  Peace.

You can find them on IG @orijinculture and I am @kushqueendom

I’m sending signals to your mental, so we can connect… see you soon, 

Shila Iris 

My Introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan


black-history_feb-17_copyright-shila-iris-2017The year was 1997, and online music was no where to be found. Most of the world experienced solid, art-based hip-hop through Rap City, Video Vibrations or through either the Vibe, Source, Right On! or Word Up! magazines. My older brother was a hip-hop nut! He introduced our family to this raunchy, fun, yet highly political style of beat-based poetry. When I saw my first Wu-Tang video, Triumph, I was so intoxicated that I wanted to be a rapper. The intensity of the lyrics made my heart percolate! The fast-paced imagery tugged at my youth, urging me to be free. The 10 men I saw on the screen were raw and oddly intellectual.

They seemed to be well-read, open, and real. They were from another world, far away from where I was from. The beats were right up my alley. I was intrigued. The music of Wu-Tang has taught me that we can’t sanitize Black life, making it appear to be easy, and we cannot not alter our stories to please others. Life is what it is. Give it to them raw. I feel blessed to have seen them perform live. It was a fun experience. I also saw the solo performances of Ghostface Killah, and last year I saw GZA perform in Akron, Ohio. RZA had a book talk at the public library, where he shared parts of his personal life story, talked about the business side of Wu-Tang and explained his book, The Tao of Wu. These men are such heart throbs! Their ability to be honest makes them all the more attractive. Whenever Wu-Tang is in town, I will be there, no doubt. The Clan is an ultimate example of the Nguzo Saba aka 7 Principles of Kwanzaa. If you ever see me in the gym, nearly falling off the elliptical, it’s because I’m listening to Triumph, and I have gotten so lifted, that I’m in another world! Be careful when you listen to the Wu. Peace.

Thank you for reading,



My Introduction to Kara Walker



Back in 2011, I spent a lot more time than I am willing to admit, in an ongoing conversation with a dear friend of mine. We were consistently conversing, texting, emailing, Skyping, and meeting up to share our worlds with one another. One day, this wonderful companion of mine sent me an email with a link to Kara Walker’s website. I took a look. It was pretty amazing. Her style of storytelling is appealing to the eye in its simplicity, and culturally relevant, urging humanity to reach inside themselves and find out who they really are. With that same friend who I spent most of 2011 talking with, I was honored, this past Fall, to see the Kara Walker exhibit: “The Ecstasy of St. Kara,” which reflects upon the complex history of Christianity and the myths surrounding slavery- worldwide and in the lives of Black people. Kara’s work supports mental growth and spiritual evolution. It makes me think about where I was, where I am, and where I want to be. I am grateful to have experienced Kara’s ecstasy.

… a little behind, celebrated my birthday on February 13, and been under the weather, but now I’m on top! Peace and love! Gonna continue to celebrate the African Diaspora. You should too.

Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned.

Thank you for reading,