Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Live! Founder Shares the Mission That Inspired It

Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Live! Founder Shares the Mission That Inspired It

Queen Sheba Says Closing Cultural Divides Drives the Work

When you purchase an item after clicking a link from this post, we may earn a commission.


Devin: What is your superpower?

Sheba: My superpower is taking a risk, so when I’m writing my poems, I try to leave it all on the paper or all on the stage. I take nothing with me. I tell all my secrets.

Queen Sheba is the poet who founded Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Live! and its associated foundation to support LGBTQ women navigating a cancer diagnosis. We connected as guests in a delegation of social impact creators invited to Israel by its Foreign Ministry.

I’m glad we did. She is doing inspiring work I may not ever have discovered otherwise.

AI Summary

  • Sheba founded Poetry versus Hip Hop, a social impact platform that aims to bridge cultural gaps and dissolve stereotypes.

  • The platform disguises itself as a stage show, but the team also reaches out to people from different backgrounds and cultures.

  • Human connection is essential, especially since people often misjudge and misunderstand each other.

  • Her personal and professional journey in poetry and spoken word began with experiences of growing up in Detroit and being adopted by a white family.

  • Her work has evolved to cover a range of social and political issues.

  • She emphasizes the importance of offering solutions in her work and teaching her students to do the same.

  • Her superpower is taking risks with her writing and leaving everything on the paper or stage.

  • She advises allowing oneself time to grieve and be sad but to show up for life and take risks.

  • Start small and gradually build up to bigger risks, and find a supportive community to share work with.

  • Her books and albums can be found on Amazon, and information on her upcoming performances can be found on her website and social media.

Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Live!

“Poetry vs. Hip-Hop is a social impact platform disguised as a stage show,” Sheba says. The performances are merely the context for bringing people together from across sometimes antagonistic divides.

She says:

We purposely reach out to people that are from all walks of life, including but not limited to any race, color, creed, LGBTQIA community—anything at all—so that we can bridge these gaps and start conversations with people to help dissolve stereotypes, to help people understand different cultures, to maybe introduce them to cultures they have never seen or talked to before or worked with before.

Demonstrating the impact, she shares the story of an event in Texas where two antagonistic hip-hop gang rivals were invited to perform. They were reluctant to even share the stage with one another.

Sheba says:

We had to sit down and say, “Hey, this is the perfect opportunity to say, ‘Hey, we're not the stereotype that you think that we are. We're not these gangsters. We're not we're not these thugs. We're writers and creatives and thought leaders and thinkers and social activists. Come over and meet my crew over here.’” We were able to dissolve that a little bit and get at least one from each crew to come.

Sheba’s work is an extension of who she is. “I’m adopted. I’m adopted by white people. I grew up in a major city. I present Black, but I’m biracial. I’m also part of the LGBTQIA community. So, I have all of these facets and umbrellas that are amazing.”

“I get misread and misunderstood a lot of times,” in part as a result of the intersectionality of who she is. Appreciating that she is often misunderstood, she could see how others are treated similarly and wanted to help improve mutual understanding.

In the on-stage “battle” between a hip-hop artist and a poet, Sheba requires the participants to hug “so that there is a human connection.”

Sheba launched the foundation after her partner passed away in January 2022.

In all her work, she builds on her superpower of taking risks with her poetry, in an effort to be authentic and share something meaningful.


Superpowers for Good is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

How to Develop Risk-Taking In Your Writing As a Superpower

To help us understand how she uses her risk-taking in her poetry, she describes a poem she’s working on now, called “New Booty,” inspired by her recent plastic surgery. She says:

It’s going to start off a little light and funny, but then I'm going to go left to social-political and say, “Well, now that I have a new booty, maybe I'll be considered black. Maybe I'll be less of [a target for] the microaggression to the mixed girl. Maybe I won’t be called white anymore.” Because those are things that I struggle with; those are the things that come up in my life, in my adult life.

“My superpower is taking a risk writing, writing to the edge, and then going over it,” Sheba says.

She shared a story that highlights the good that can come from risk-taking in poetry and in life. It happens to explain how we met.

I gave myself all of ‘22 to be depressed. Not that I'm still not processing the grief or the things that I went through, but I gave myself all of ‘22 to eat, sleep, not do anything, not do anything. If I had to go to work, I told myself I had to go to work. I went to work. If I had a gig, I would show up for the gig. If I had a responsibility to show up. But then I gave myself permission to immediately go home and get in bed.

I literally spent—can you imagine the amazing summer in Atlanta, Georgia, in bed? July 4th in bed. Labor Day weekend in bed. Just not doing anything. So, I did not want to commit suicide. I was just tired, and I was exhausted. I told myself, “Do not commit suicide. Just keep showing up for your life. Just keep going. Just wake up and go to the next day and go to the next day.”

Labor Day weekend, I was invited last minute to come perform at the mayor's LGBT opening reception for Black Pride weekend.

Of course, I accepted the gig. I said, “You know what? Let's go all out.” I got a dress made. I had my friend design a dress for me. I was really honored to be a part of this. 

I show up, I perform “We Are the Women.” That was the only poem they commissioned me to do. I performed that in front of at least a thousand people.

We were in City Hall. This has never been done before. We were in City Hall! A thousand people sitting and standing around from the LGBTQIA community. Elected officials, anybody you could think of, was there. I end the poem to a standing ovation.

I was very excited that I decided to get up and take that gig that day.

That is where I run into the Israeli consul general, and that is how I ended up meeting you.

As we talked, I asked Sheba how to take risks safely. She says you can’t. That’s the point.

As a creator, “You're going to be judged. You can't avoid it,” she says.

“You only have one go. So, do what you're going to do every single day and do it big, bold,” Sheba says.

“You only have one go. There is no putting it off,” she says, reiterating her point. “There's no putting it off, so take the risk.”

Sheba shared a final note. Noting that she has lots of tattoos, she described one she has on her wrist that says, “Not Today.” She got it when she was working as a substitute teacher and saw an influx of middle-school suicides.

“As adults, we know that we're just taller children,” she says. “So, I tell people, allow yourself time to grieve and be sad, but show up for your life. Because if you don't, you never know what could unfold positively.”

If you follow Sheba’s advice and example, you can make risk-taking in your creative work a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Leave a comment


Sheba has graciously agreed to perform at SuperCrowd23, which will be held on May 10 and 11. Superpowers for Good readers are invited to purchase tickets at half price, meaning that you can purchase a general admission ticket for just $49.50. Be sure to register before the end of early-bird pricing!

Guest-Provided Profile

Queen Sheba (she/her)

Founder, Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Live & Foundation 

About Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Live & Foundation: Poetry versus hip-hop live! Is an international social impact platform disguised as a live stage production.

Poetry vs Hip-Hop foundation was created when  Dj KNODAT (know-dat) passed away from breast cancer on January 3, 2022. The Poetry vs Hip-Hop foundation is created in her honor to support, educate and make sure that LGBTQIA women of color have the resources they need while navigating their cancer journey.


Twitter Handle: @thequeensheba

Company Facebook Page: Poetryvshiphop

Biographical Information: Queen Sheba 60-Second Bio: 

  • Born in Detroit, MI, now living in Atlanta, GA - Sheba is a featured poet on the 2021 Grammy-Nominated album “F-Your Feelings” by Robert Glasper.

  • Recently released her 8th album on August 19th, 2022, “The Fukc-it Pill,” produced by Triumph Reigns, Clayco Music Group, with guest production by Multi-Grammy award winner in Artists Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Robert Glasper!

  • She recently returned from Israel, invited by the Israeli consul general of Atlanta, and was one of eight people chosen from around the country by the office of the foreign ministry of Israel for a social impact and education tour. 

  • Being who is Sheba is, of course, she found a POETRY group to connect with while learning about technology, agriculture, antiracism practices, youth, LGBT, and anything that involves Israel.

  • You can hear Queen Sheba every Thursday on V-103 as the co-host with Joyce Littel for the poetic moment segment on the quiet storm from 10 PM to midnight!

  • In 2020 during a global pandemic, Queen Sheba was invited to participate in a collection of poetry, short stories & visual art by the city of Atlanta.

  • Sheba is Atlanta’s previous “Creative Loafing’s” People’s Choice Spoken Word Artist of the year!

  • She also received the Gentlemen’s Foundation ‘Gentle Woman of Artistry’ of the Year award for her work in the LGBT community for HIV Prevention.

  • Sheba is a ‘Women of the World’ & Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist.

  • Sheba is also a featured performer on season two of Verses and Flow, brought to you by Lexus on TV One, and has been on Spoken, a featured poet on Lyric Café on BET, 106&Park, the Apollo and the feature-length film ‘Spit.’

  • Sheba has eight albums, three of which were up for a Grammy under the Spoken Word category, including her current album, “The F-It Pill,” which was in the running for best spoken Word album of the year.

  • Sheba is a two-time NAACP Image Award Nominee. Her works have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Vibe Online and the focus of college students’ papers everywhere!

  • Queen Sheba has two books: From Foster Care to Fame, short stories and poems too long for three minutes and Run Ugly! A motivational book for runners, with two forthcoming books “Clemency: poems to help you accept the apology as you will never receive, and The day I almost died in D.R.- how to leave your body and toxic relationship behind.

  • With a Master in Poetry from Queens University - Spoken Word artist, motivational speaker, comedian, and bathroom concert singer, Sheba tours internationally and has conducted performances and workshops at over 200 colleges and universities domestically and abroad, an APCA - Performer of the Year Nominee, and is a Creative Writing Professor at the Historical Black Clark Atlanta University where she teaches Poetry, Story Telling and Fiction.

  • YouTube: We Are The Women

Personal Facebook Profile:


Instagram Handle: @thequeensheba @poetryvshiphop

Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
We host changemakers who are using regulated investment crowdfunding for social impact--impact crowdfunding--as impact investors or social entrepreneurs, catalyzing change with leadership skills we call superpowers.