Ancient Dreams & Tantric Wisdom… the show


COME CHECK out the band, Intercourse the Collective, this FRIDAY, JUNE 13 AT LIL’ AFRICA AKA THE KITCHEN located at 6816 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103.


This show will feature myself and my wonderful playmates- vocalist: RaShimba WildBloom, Drummer: Ali Boyd, Keyboard Player: Egan Ammerman, and the Digital Griot: jAfterDark. We will be doing a special tribute to the late Rayshawn Armstrong who was a well-known Cleveland poet and community driven activist. Thank you to poet, Bianca Michelle and artist, Latoya Kent for their participation in this show. Peace and love! See you there.

shila iris aka Queen 


Gray, Black & White


Last week I was massaging coconut oil into my scalp and noticed my first white hair! I was sort of surprised, but shortly after I began to embrace that one little white hair that although dead, seemed full of life. I wanted to do a public service announcement email to my friends, letting them know that Queen Shila Iris had gotten her first white hair. My computer started malfunctioning so I couldn’t send the email. However, I realized that I love gray and white hair! I actually love lots of gray, black, and white things. Pictures, pets, hair, clothes, shoes- together, these colors are hot! I like that salt and pepper look. To me it is distinguished and attractive. Check it out.

1Gray, black, and white videography…

Check out the good reads…

Love, life with wisdom,

Shila Iris 

Living in the Midwest – Spring Queens


I live in Midwestern United States where the weather can swing drastically, hitting above 100 in the summer and below zero in the winter. The Springs are cold and warm, and hot, and cold again! It’s nothing to fear, you just have to be prepared and accept the reality of varying temperatures.

Living in the Midwest allows me to get super cReaTiVe with my wardrobe. I can be laid back, conservative, athletic, but most of all JAZZY! My attire is most often referred to as Jazzy. People ask, “where did you get that?” If I can remember, I tell them, but I shop all over. Mostly in thrift stores and specialty-clothing boutiques. I do not discriminate! Anywhere I go from, TJMaxx to Steinmart, I can always find the most “jazzy-ethnic” attire they carry. That’s my thing, that’s my style. My favorite stores are thrift stores, but like I said, I go all over.

I love being able to create my own style!

Many people enjoy living in the Midwest, although it can be depressing sometimes! Nine months of cold weather can have you visiting a psychoanalyst! No need to complain, just get with the program. When its cold, love it, when it’s hot love it even more! Our seasons seem to be all over the place and are highly unpredictable at the present time.
So I keep my closet fully equipped with all types of light and heavy clothing. Every morning I put my foot out the door to see what the weather feels like and I go from there…

THE STYLE… The shirt I am wearing above is one of my favorite pieces. It is a very light fabric and I normally wear a camisole underneath it. I got it from an African Boutique years ago named SeneAfrique, $25. It closed down. The shirt has gold accents so I wore gold jewelry to match. It’s a gold cuff bracelet which you can get from anywhere these days. The necklace is a beaded brown and gold layered style and I have no idea where I got it (maybe Dillard’s on clearance years ago?). The earrings are a costume-like gold from Glitter (in malls), $1. The jeans are from Charlotte Russe, $10. I like flare jeans. The shoes are from Aldo, $95. They are leather inside and out, that is why they are pricier. They are called the Fornili shoe and date back at least two years. I won’t spend that much anymore, but there was something about these shoes that made them awesome. I like them a lot and they don’t hurt. Of course I wouldn’t do crazy amounts of walking in them either.


Peace and love,

Queen Duafe for African Essence

P.S. Need a book to read? Check this out…

Afrocentricity and the Academy: Essays on Theory and Practice edited by James L. Conyers, Jr.

Poetry in Music- Vocalist ASA (pronounced ASHA)


“I’m in chains, you’re in chains too

I wear uniforms and you wear uniforms too

I’m a prisoner, you’re a prisoner too, Mr Jailer”

Asa is a Nigerian- born singer who is currently performing all over the world. Her music is a feel good, conscious protest to modern day slavery. She explains concepts such as love, oppression, peace, and dreaming. Of course I have some songs that I play over and over because the messages speak to what I am, but all of her music has a sharp angle of awareness that we don’t hear a lot these days.


Vocalist Asa, click on the image to be directed to her website


Asa represents a new breed of artist largely indebted to beautiful poets like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and MeShell Ndegeocello. Her lyrics are far from cookie-cutter, lacking the repetitive, hypnotic trance that modern artists get over using. Asa allows you to think and to get involved spiritually with the rhythms. If there is a parent out there looking for some good music for his/her young teenage daughter to listen to, please try ASA.


Queen Style


My heart leaps when she speaks in her native tongue on songs such as So Beautiful, Bi ban ke, and Bimpe. On her album Beautiful Imperfection, my favorite song is The Way I Feel. It is reminiscent of Nina Simone’s efforts in addressing the struggles of Black expression. While Nina Simone was more direct with her messages of demur, Asa is still powerful, especially since people are seemingly trying to force the world to forget the crimes of colonization endured by people of African descent. It won’t help to forget, or brush these issues under the rug. It’s better to address them and learn about the real history of the mother land.

“I’m talking to you jailer

Stop calling me a prisoner

Let he who is without sin-

be the first to cast the stone

Mr Jailer

You suppress all my strategy

You oppress every part of me

What you don’t know,

you’re a victim too

Mr Jailer”

These are lyrics from her song Jailer, the first song on her debut album. Just wonderful!  Check out ASA in all her efforts to spread a different kind of message, not driven by money. Her music is linked on her website. Check out your local library if you want to borrow her CDs to try them out first. The video below is cool, however, I normally like music more without having viewed the videos. I like to hear the message before seeing it.