Straight out of the penitentiary comes Shakim Bio with his first book, Love, Hell or Right from Mikahs 7 Publishing. Buried in the belly of the beast for almost two decades Shakim Bio has written a riveting and moving book on building and maintaining a relationship with doing time. This book is a prison love story but it is so much more. But don’t take our word for it, take his. We present a Gorilla Convict exclusive, from behind penitentiary walls, Shakim Bio, talking about his new book, life in prison and life in general.
What made you decide to write Love, Hell or Right and what is the book about?
I wanted to come different than what I feel has already been done and what’s already been done. How many different ways can you tell the story of selling drugs, shooting guns, robbing people and destroying families and communities? We got too much of that already, the toughest killer has emotions and is vulnerable to a woman’s affection or to a relationship with a woman. I wrote Love, Hell or Right to reveal the fact that gangsters, thugs, even killers have that side of them too. No one really came in a manner that gives a closely personal look at prison life of a man striving to maintain a relationship with his woman. Love, Hell or Right is about a street General, who is also a devoted Five Percenter, buried alive in the Federal Penitentiary System. He meets his soul mate and shares the details of their connection, their ups and downs, joys & pains, struggles and victories. It’s all real and true story and experiences, my woman is out there in the free world while I’m in the harsh living in prison and we both share the same culture. It’s a “mind detect mind” kind of love, Mathematics do not lie.
Give us a little background on yourself and your affiliation with the Five Percent Nation.
My name is Shakim Bio-chemical Wise, I’m known as Shakim, Shakim Bio or just Sha Bio. I’m a Five Percenter a.k.a. The Nation of Gods & Earths since the late 1970’s. We are poor, righteous teachers, who know and understand who and what is God and we teach that the Original Black Man is God. I’m a Theologian by nature, I deal with Actual Facts but I was also caught up in the struggle of getting money by all means.
Give us a little background on your current circumstances.
I’ve been incarcerated for a little over eighteen years now. I was running from state to state getting money by flooding the communities with drugs but the government made up an amazing story of how myself and over forty others were part of a nine state drug conspiracy that allegedly sold over five thousand kilograms of crack cocaine and brought a lot of violence everywhere we went. That’s THEIR story. I went to trial and got hit with four hundred and eighty months (40 years) but I stay fighting like a true warrior. I gave time back in 2008 on the Amendment 706 on the New Crack Amendment, but I’m still at war.
Your book is basically a prison love story, what did all the people involved in the romances thing about your writing of it?
Love is Love no matter how you put it, it’s all about how you explain or express that idea. When I said I was penning a love novel, heads was like “Stop playing!!” They know me for being dressed in armor, bussing my guns on all aspects, street, whatever… no one really expresses love but we all feel it. No one really likes to get personal and expose personal, sensitive stuff like that, they’d rather keep the hardcore image in the presence of others especially in prison where even the comedian convict walks around mugging and gritting. Everyone wants to be tough but these tough dudes cry when reading this novel and they laugh because I’m speaking on how they’re really feeling.
Give us your prison history, where have you been and who have you broken bread with?
My prison history…I always been a street oriented man so I was in and out of jails like Riker’sIslandin the 1980’s, I did skid bids like I was on vacation in numerous states. I was getting money and getting caught up in small bullshit but since I been in these Federal Concentration spots over the past eighteen years, I’ve been in nothing but Max pens. I been in USP Terre Haute (The old Hut), I did a short un in Super Max Marion twelve years ago. I’ve been to USP Lompoc out west, USP Lee County, USP Big Sandy and USP Coleman 2. I broke bread with a lot of dudes (Laughing), just about everyone in your Street Legends 1 & 2 novels. A lot of Anthony Jones’ co-dees is my peeps; Boy George’s co-dees, Supreme Team, the Boobie boys, King Tut is my peeps. I know a lot of people from Big Brand Names to the no frills hustler… its too many to name. I’m known everywhere in the Feds but it’s not about who Shakim Bio broke bread with. Real always recognize real, steel sharpens steel and I’m God all day, every day, my name is immaculate in the Prison System, State and Feds and on them bricks. I’m from the old N.Y. not this new wave shit.
Give us some history about when you were on the streets and where you are from.
Shakim Bio was born in East New York, Brooklyn, N.Y. but was raised in Queens, N.Y. My whole family is Jamaican so I’m the first American born male in my family. I grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, which is the poorest part of Queens. I was known all through “Far Rock” and throughout Jamaica Queens. I used to spit (Rhyme) and the cats I had around me were vicious as well as far as the streets, others were viciously talented and blew up in the Hip Hop Culture on several levels.
What other projects are you working on?
I got The Omega Jon Christ – The Last Illest, which is the first official Street – Hop Novel; I’ma murder the game this summer or early fall with that one. It’s the story of Shakim Bio, the street General, when I used to spit and my movements throughout N.Y and out of state as well as my affiliation with numerous industry cats and the real deal on the classic movie “Belly”, which is actually my state case. Then I got a couple other projects. I got the Does this sound Familiar? story, which is the story of “Tinard” from Hollis, Queens, who robbed and extorted so many people in the streets and the music game that he is the number one suspect in almost everything. Yeah, I connected with Sun, got him to open up and give me his story. I’m letting him spit that then I’ma smack heads in the face again with The Last Illest part 2.
I used to spit so it’s real easy for me to do this. I usually put everything together mentally, then piece it together like a song by writing. I read a lot of books ranging from all aspects of life so I can come from any angle. I’m not really trying to do that street fiction… I want to create my own lane on how to tell your story… my motto is “I don’t shoot guns no more… I shoot ink!”
What advice would you give any aspiring writers out there?
Never lose focus no matter what and never let anyone steal your ambition. Stay true to self and DO YOU hardbody. Even if you fail, fail from your own doing… be the blame of your success and failure. Never give up! Stay ready!
How and why did you start Mikahs 7 Publishing?
I got frustrated with shopping for a deal with all these other publishing companies that want to short change you or steal your story or want you to dumb your style down. I’m a real creative man and I came from a creative circle that I still network with so I was explaining to my street comrade’s girl about looking for a spot to shop my Street – Hop Novel; she knows me from the streets and knows how I used to generate that paper and make things happen so she asked me “why don’t I do what I’ve been know for?” which is, making shit happen for myself. I was like “You know what? You’re right ma!” So I included her with my street fam and told them “lets pop off.” The hustle is the same; the product is just different now. Federal and State, everywhere, the ghettos, the rich, the corporate companies… we there! Mikahs 7 Publishing, which is actually my name “Shakim”, spelled backwards. My team loves me so much that they named it after me and my idea…but we family. I was out there throwing stones at the penitentiary… now I’m in the penitentiary, throwing bricks to the streets. Love, Hell or Right; the first ever God & Earth love story. Big up to all women who stand by and hold their men down no matter what as long as that man is a man and is real. Love is the highest elevation of understanding, Hell is the trick… Right is to be right & exact. Peace to all my A-alikes, B-alikes and Cee-alikes! Big shout out to Gorilla Convict Publications!
Order Love, Hell or Right –
Mikahs 7 Publishing
736 D St. Andrews Road PMB 143
Columbia, SC 29210