Isis

Isis

BandSpoken WordR&B

Isis is the 2006 Denver City Slam Champion. Winner of the 2006 National Poetry Slam.

Biography

Who are you when you are “Almost Conscious”? New Jersey born Isis, (Ebony Booth) presents herself and poetry honestly so that all can see the beauty and the scars that have made her a woman. Unlike most spoken word artists, her words come not from pulpit or soapbox, they come from the heart. To Ebony, “consciousness” is not a goal, but rather a journey towards finding divinity in yourself and others. It is that attitude and brilliance of her poetry that belies her 24 years. Her family moved from New Jersey to Denver, Colorado before the fast paced lifestyle of the east coast could take its toll on her. However, spending the majority of her teens in Colorado’s pacifying clime did little to snuff the flames burning in her belly. She has always been aware of social injustice even as a child, and unfortunately came face to face with an abusive boyfriend as a teenager. Add relationships with a host of characters such as prostitutes, preachers, revolutionaries, and drug dealers to weathering the storm of an uncertain personal life Ebony was forced to grow up quick. Isis was born from those tumultuous times.

It wasn’t long before Isis was snatching mics and spotlights at poetry venues all over the Mile High City, and Colorado. Isis has been performing poetry professionally for 3 years, and has already become synonymous with excellence. Isis’ poetry explores universal themes of empowerment, reclamation, love, abuse, healing, and the mistakes we all make. She has a tenderness at the center of her work, which comes thru in her performance. Isis chides and instructs but never forgets to love, nurture and teach by example. Isis acknowledges that her journey is that of many women, and in order to get where she wants to go, she must bring many women with her.

Already local and national spoken word luminaries are taking notice. In 2004, Ashara Ekundayo, executive director of the Pan African Arts Society tapped her to become the new host of Café Nuba, Denver’s premier spoken word poetry set and television program. Isis served as MC of the show broadcast on Free Speech Television all over the country for two and a half years. She is an in demand presence at spoken word events and has featured at the University of Colorado’s Poetry Slam. After an overwhelming response, Isis was invited back to host the next year’s Slam. She has shared stages with the late Oscar Brown, Jr., M-1 of Dead Prez, the legendary Last Poets, and when the Def Poetry tour arrived in Denver, Isis was the sole opener.

Performing professionally as Isis for just 3 years, she has already amassed an Impressive body of work and acknowledgements. In December of 2004 prior to her CD’s official release, her song “Grindin’” a collaboration with DJ Musa (Saul Williams) was charted and played by non other than BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Gilles Peterson on his “Worldwide” radio show. “Almost Conscious” the DC has received airplay on the “Worldwide” show, Colorado radio stations KGNU (Eclipse Hip Hop show), KUVO (So What!), and KS107.5 (Radio Bums Mix tape Show). To date she has sold several hundred copies of the CD through touring, Café Nuba, and local record store chain Independent Records.

Staying busy as always, Isis teamed with none other than Denver’s own DJ Style N. Fashion to co-produce and write for “Beauty in the Dark, Vol.1”(Independent Records), a double disc mix tape of love poems and classic grooves sure to tantalize and warm the coldest night. Eager to share her work and words on a national level, Isis charted a solo tour of the East Coast in Spring of 2006 where she educated crowds about “Why Isis Speaks” and provided a positive example of what culture and art lies nestled in the Rocky Mountain range. Audiences from the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, to packed coffee shops in Washington, D.C. were left enthralled, touched, and wanting more.
In 2006, Isis has catapulted herself into an elite league of artists and writers with her astonishing win of the 2006 Denver Slam Off, where she attained the title of Denver City Champ. Not stopping there, Isis went on to gel with 5 of her friends and colleagues to lead Denver to the National Poetry Slam where they took first place. Beating over 400 poets and 75 teams from across the country.

Not content to further just herself, Isis spends time in Denver creating and hosting poetry workshops through the Denver and Cherry Creek Public School systems. Isis is most passionate about the plight of young girls and is one of the educators of Denver’s Young Sistah’s Bootkamp, a 4 week intensive health, self, sex, and art seminar for girls age 8-18. Her desire to make art a premier focus of the community at large keeps her actively volunteering with several non-profit organizations as Marketing Coordinator, Consultant, Promoter, and event Host.

Isis is busily working on her sophomore album and chapbook both titled, “Honey Suckle: A Collection of Memories and M

Lyrics

Souled Out

Written By: Ebony Booth

Sold Out
Ebony “Isis” Booth

We have sold the soul of Hip Hop to merchants
standing along shores of self satisfaction.
Waving farewell to consumers laiden with self redemption.
Our dope beats and tight rythms sold at whole sale prices
or for Africa medallions with ice in them.
And we carry the weight of the contradition.

Stand as complicated matreces of what once was the original me.
We now be ten dollar prints of “blue nude” laid at the tomb of Picasso.
We are now reproduced in picturesque patterns while our tangible selves
irradicate the rest of the irrelevant.

We paid for it.
Drank it down like magic tonic pulled from suitcases of palefaces
encased in searsucker suits.
Its too late once you realize the waste.
Its too late when artificial starts to superceed original.
But I want to take it back.
Take it back like high top fades and BK’s,
but no receipt was issued for the acquisition of our image.

My lips were sexy before Angelina Jolie’s.
But the grinches who stole hip hop stand not without concern.
Your consumers only accept the images of he, she, me, we marginally.
Carbon copies of ethnicity can lie ghostly in catalogs or inatimate on billboards.
Any Afro, Asian, Latin, Somoan, Indian fabric print can adorn pale suburban skin.
SPF 15 with the Lex top dropped pickin up Bobby in his Rockawear Jeans.
Crispy button up, Jigga fitted cap, and Timbaland’s.
The boy is clean.

Rockin 50 Cent on the I Pod. Like, “Mom, you don’t understand. This is hip hop.”
Black man walks past the lex, the doors lock.
That’s Hip Hop.

But if this is what we’ve bought into, can a Bently buy me out?
Two dimensional daddies settin’ expectations for success without high school
diplomas, GED’s, or degrees.
Twenty bucks will get you the latest LP.
You bring the blunts, and another brown boy brings the weed.
Here is your lesson in manhood.
But it doesn’t come free.

Our past days artful expression of indifference is now deemed profitable.
We’ve rejected our original selves divinely contoured in strength and earthtoned beauty
and strewn less desireable images about deserted streets
like paper dolls with the arms ripped off
like “aint no where to hang the ice no more”

And these complicated matreces stand as representatives of marginal perfection.
Like “she’s pretty, for a black girl.”
or “he’s sexy, for a black guy.”

Then the tangible we,
become 3-D black bodies moving with grace and strength
through consumer marketplaces.
Being human.

Then the archetype reminds them of wholesale purchases and retail romances
with culture.
But this is a vital moment in time.
This is when you ooze hip hop.
This is when hip hop rocks louder than “Rock the Bells” ever did
on a walkman turned to ten.

This is when the look on your face says that you can perform
open heart surgery while reciting Biggie to the rhythm of your closing sutures.
Use poetry as a vehicle to make evident young girls’ futures.
Write doctorate dissertations,
get home, untie your tie, and rock your little brother in play station.
Mommies, daddies, teachers, politicians, revolutionaries
lawyers, musicians, philanthropists, and entrepenuers, who all on cue
nod their heads to the rythym of Dougie’s beat box and
recite the lyrics to “Ladie Dadie” the way Slick Rick intended.

This is hip hop.
Hip hop is a pulse that beats in unison.
You’ve either got it or you don’t.
But we’re pulling our souls off the shelves.
Hip Hop is no longer available in stores.

Mason Jar

Written By: Ebony Booth

Mason Jar
Ebony “Isis” Booth
copyright 2005

Go pull your mason jar off the shelf.
Walk with strength into the darkest basement corners
where shadows tainted the peace of your childhood.
Gather strength from sharp edges of fear threatening
to cut your flesh into meaty depictions of defeat.
Go pull your mason jar off the highest shelf.

Push past preserves and pickled summer goodness
canvassed by cobwebs.
Brush past dust and dank odor until you find your jar.
The one with secrets told only to tomorrow.
Go pull your mason jar off the highest shelf in the darkest corner.

Your jar will sit empty, ready for breath and spittle of war cries
and recollections of past times with nothing,
a future with less.
Grab it now, child.
Squeeze your eyes shut, force one tear to wert the lip.
Lubricate your soul with your body’s healing water.
Bathe your jar in your sweat.
Go pull your mason jar off the shelf.

Here you will ready yourself for the mystery of next year.
You will think quick and abstract of simple duties.
Pour into your jar a process of elimination to eternalize your existence.
Your jar will be a memorial.
You will incubate stories of survival, and despair.
Vacuum souls and sisters’ blood into translucent mausoleum.
Whisper stories wearily into your jar.

Put into it a picture of your seventh birthday party in the pink dress,
the cramps of your first period,
the yellow shorts you wore once but couldn’t get the blood out of.
Scream Sunday suppers straight from your gut.
Put Boo Boo’s tricycle with the red & black streamers inside,
Cousin Franklin’s obituary,
Big Mama’s bathrobe,
Aunt Bessie’s family Bible with 5 generations of birthday’s and death dates scrawled across Genesis’ margins.

Go find the familiarity of your childhood.
Take the day your hymen broke on green shag carpet,
it will fit here.
Hurry child.
Go get your mason jar off the highest shelf in the darkest corner of a basement
that will soon swell to be your grave, if you don’t move.
Store righteousness and bravery in pockets with bubble gum wrappers
and boy’s phone numbers.
Shift movie stubs to make room for intuition and stealth.
Use lip liner to paint a war mask across acne ridden countenance.
Don’t question your hands knowledge of the pattern.

Scream rage and love into your jar.
Seal it tight with faith and survival.
Ready yourself child.
Prepare to hear sunken spirits speak to you through sounds of murky water,
running through streets and byways.
Souls will rise up to deliver advice on how not to drown like they did.
Spirits will sing you sooths of tomorrow.
About a country that stood still when its privilege was threatened by
“’Sand Niggers’ who are so lazy they pray five times a day
and call God Muhammad.”
America thinks these men audacious.

This same country will navigate around you.
They will limit your devastation to aerial views.
Your brethren will be demonized for stealing food and water.
Then America will turn its back on you.
Your image will be categorized as file footage.

But go now child.
In spite of these things, you must go now.
Wade through these waters with your jar in tow.
Go now.
For you, are in the eye of your storm.

FALLOUT

Written By: Ebony Booth

I am a descendant of those
who grew from this.

End times came with the age of Pisces.
Knowing the answer to unjust death is abundant life, these…
warriors.
Children of knowledge took schelter in the womb of mother earth.

Transitioned seemlesly away from society to build a new dynasty
called TRUTH.

War had become a means to no end.
Incessant and the beign of existence for all men.
Complex weaponry fueled economy,
while oil propelled the need for conflict.
No one even knew what they were fighting for.

Now, we know they were warring more to feel blood rush
than just have power touch the parts of souls where Goddess
labored from the inside out,
begging them to release life.

The underground called them
up from ashes where apathetic embers smoldered on surface streets.

I am a descendant of those moved by the underground.

Tribes called their quest toward survival, revolutionary.
Disenfrancized from mainstream there seemed no escape
from war or capitalism.
One unable to exist without the other.
In an effort to seek winds from the ancients,
man had his spirit replaced with fear.

So they prepared.
Warmongers called those unwilling to fight for hate
and intolerance, unpatriotic.
Hearts quarrelled with minds attempting to locate the axis of evil.
Found it surgically implanted into tips of each of their index fingers.
Accusations became common knowledge, and naysayers even easier targets for persecution.
Treason is only a sin before fabricated Gods whose loyalties lie in hearts of men.

I am a desendent of those who grew from this.

Lived in a world where the government drew imaginary lines in blood stained sand,
and sent children to aim rifles at mothers.

Turned 100% profits on apparrel stiched with tiny needles held in adolescent foreign fingers,
in order to provide percieved privelage to pilgrims protecting stolen land.
And men drew imaginary lines in blood stained sand.

Forced labor from warriors renamed prisoners.
Milked restitution from misdemeanor marijuana similac money
capers made enough to cop diapers.
But a system made men pay them to help him manage his anger.

They watched as waste choked breath from the air.
Earth’s placenta rapidly dehissed and fled into the protective
darkness of galaxies unadulturated by man.

Left earth writhing under the actions of its cancerous inhabitants.
Land masses called oceans up over its shores.
Propelled by wind to cleanse itself.
And men built iron lines in blood stained sand.
Waged war on the elements.

I decend from those who grew from this.

The power of feminine energy declined and left wombs refusing to bring forth life.
Men muted the Goddess through mass media imagery.
Mysoginistic religion driven coups
set up to snatch herstory from bible pages, constitutions, and schools.
In frantic attempts to connect with God,
men grappled violently with skirt hems,
flanking the age of innocence
and forced themselves inside pure places.

Left would-be she-warriors crumpled at graffitt laced altars
broken and enraged.

I decend from those who grew from this.

Exited with only the remains of their humanity and moved underground.
This Exodus marked the Genisis of a new age of enlightenment.
When the surface had rid itself of its inhabitants, and proved safe to navigate, the chosen few emerged.

From here we grew.

Worshipd in love and truth.
Reclaimed the sacred nature of self.
Remain connected.
There can be no war without separatism.
Man and woman coexist in absence of fear.
And we look upon eachother to see God in the pupils of our kindred.
We celebrate art and thought without judgment.
Farm tolerance and peace on young land.
Eager with the mystery of tomorrow.
We grow.

Discography

Soul Lovely (Compilation 2002)
Almost Conscious (2004)
Beauty in the Dark Vol.1 (2006)
Honey Suckle: A Collection of Memories and Misremembered Journeys (Holiday 2006)

Set List

Aeon Flux: "The Superhero Ego Trip"
Untitled
Numb
Basehead Jazz: "Feelin' Good"
White Horse
365 Black
Grindin'
Sold Out
Mason Jar

Each poem is approximately 3-3.5 minutes in length. Some poems may be performed with live musical accompaniment (where available). Sets usually last 30 minutes but can be divided into 2 15 minute sets, or lengthened to up to 1 hour (for University lectures and workshops). Crowd participation is highly encouraged, set is relaxed and casual with banter to guide the theme of the set.