because of ryan.

i lost my friend ryan yesterday. i’m still processing everything with a heavy heart. i’ve been thinking about our hearts, and i find it interesting that our heartbeats are our timers. they begin beating while we’re new in our mothers womb, they continue to beat every minute of our lives (whether we’re conscious or not), but the minute they decide to stop— time’s up. no more sand in the hourglass. no more seconds on the clock. put the pen down. the test is complete. 

i’ve taken time for granted. i live like i’m entitled to. i treat people i love as if i’m sure to see them later, lacking appreciation for their presence, now. at the current moment, i have 153 unreturned voicemails. on one hand, i mean, who leaves voicemails anymore, bro? it’s 2018. but on the other hand, why do i feel so comfortable delaying the people that i claim to care for?

well, because for as long as i can remember, i’ve given too much. i tend to overextend my hand, only to have it turned away. i’ve chosen exhaustion over self-preservation and i’ve given more love than i’ve left for myself. last year, i realized that that needed to change. i deserve me too. so i took my time, distanced myself, tapped into me, poured into me, loved onto me, and replenished myself in the places that i lacked. and it strengthened me, and it was beautiful, but what i missed was that self-care and selfishness are not synonymous. 

with anything in life, there needs to be a balance. i can check in with myself and still show up for my loved ones. i can be present for myself and still know what’s going on with the people around me. that’s true self-care. creating healthy boundaries and balances. losing ryan taught me that. i felt guilty for not knowing he was sick. like, why didn’t i know that? and although the truth is that i can’t know everything about everyone, another truth is that i can make a better effort to appreciate the time i have with the ones i have.

i also realize that— i gotta stop living like i know i’ll wake up tomorrow. dragging my feet won’t cut it. halfway living won’t suffice. there’s work to be done, lessons to be learned and happiness to be found. gotta do what i can before my timer buzzes. 

ryan, i’ll miss you. i’ll miss your spirit. you were the light of lights, and the world was not deserving. thank you for being a friend. thank you for being my background singer. feels like just yesterday that we were practicing for our show with Frankie Beverly & Maze. your voice was just as beautiful as your soul was. thank you for the lessons you’ve thought me. they’re right on time and i’ll receive them. i’ll carry you everywhere i go. in every song, to every show. love you always.

- I.E. 

don't play with me.

over-stimulation of the imagination leads to disconnection from reality, and ultimately, disappointment. so please, don't play with me. i got the kind of mind that'll flip a fantasy into a life goal. i'm in the process of building up my life, so.. i'm searching for the missing pieces. and love is the thesis but i won't apply pressure unless you need it. so please, don't play with me.

this could be simple— we could be lovers. or it could be even more simple and we can be friends. i'm open to the possibilities but not to ends, so i tend to move slower than your speed. i gage you, watching carefully to see if what you say is what you mean. and if you is, you can help me to see and i can help you to hear. and if it is, i'll stroke your ego for reminders and you'll remind me of the beauty i am. we could really teach this love thing if we wanted to, but if i'm too far into thought, and that's not what you wanna do, be clear with me. prepare for my hand before you reach for me. & be real with me, 'cause if mine is not in your plan, be careful with what you say to me. i'm sayin', just don't play with me.

i still have scars from past wars. and you do too. that's why you're patient with me, and me with you. i'm willing to understand. i value you as a man who embodies strength in all forms, but be gentle with me. don't tamper with my fragility. give me clarity. leave less on my mind. that's peace to me. i got enough pieces that already need mending. i've closed many doors and i'm starting new beginnings. i got enough time getting away from me, so if your attention can't stay, please, don't play with me.

- I.E.

 

common- 'the light'

yo, 

i never knew a love... a love like this. gotta be something for me to write this. queen, i ain't seen you in a minute. wrote this letter, and finally decided to send it. signed, sealed, delivered for us to grow together. love has no limit, let's spin it slow forever. i know your heart is weathered by what studs did to you... i ain't gon' assault them 'cause i probably did it too. because of you, feelings i handle with care. some niggas recognize your light, but they can't handle the glare. you know i ain't the type to walk around with matching shirts. a relationship is effort, i will match your work. i wanna be the one who makes you happiest and hurts you the most. they say the end is near, it's important that we're close— to the most high. regardless of what happens, on Him let's rely.

it's important we communicate and tune the fate of this union to the right pitch. i never call you my bitch, or even my boo. it's so much in a name, it's so much more in you. few understand the union of woman and man, and sex and a tingle is where they assuming it land. but that's fly by night. for you, in the sky i write. in these cold Chi night's, moon, you my light. if heaven had a height, you would be that tall. ghetto to coffee shop, in you, i see that all. let's stick to understanding and we won't fall. for better or worse times, i hope to me you call. so i pray, everyday, more than anything, friends we'll stay as we begin to lay— this foundation for a family. love ain't simple. why can't it be? anything worth having, you work at annually. granted we've known each other for some time, it don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine.

it's kinda fresh you listen to more than hip-hop and i can catch you in the mix from beauty to thrift shop. plus you shit pop when it's time to, thinking you fresh. suggestin' beats i should rhyme to. at times when i'm lost, i try to find you. you know to give me space when it's time to. my heart's dictionary defines you it's love and happiness. truthfully, it's hard tryna practice abstinence. the time we committed love, it was real good. had to be for me to arrive, and it still feel good. i know the sex ain't gon keep you, but as my equal, it's how i must treat you. as my reflection of light, imma lead you. and whatever's right, imma feed you.

*d'ga da d'ga da d'ga da d'ga d'ga duh da*

yo, i'll tell you the rest when i see you. 

peace.

— Common

———————————————————————————————————

Common really wrote a love letter, made it rhyme, made it eloquent and made it a classic. a goat forreal. love brings about some beautiful things. i wanna inspire and be inspired like this.

- I.E.

'17 was tough, but..

'17 was tough, but it forced greatness out of me. it distanced me from the things that stunted me, and instead, forced me to tap further into myself. i found God while i was there. & then i found peace at my own pace, internal and external patience, a deep-rooted love for myself, wisdom and understanding. i realize now that every setback sprung me forward, and every experience contributed to my betterment.

'17 was tough, but it forced growth out of me. i'm stronger than i've ever been, more stable than i've ever been, my career is flourishing, my skin is amazing, my booty is the perfect combination of fat and muscle, my hair is growing, my discipline is better, i know me better, i love me better, my love is richer, my standards are higher, i know my worth, i know my values, i know what i want my life to look like & i make a conscious effort to work towards it everyday.

'17 was tough, but i'm still unfinished. i'm still learning, still teachable, still navigating, still searching, still finding, still rising. but i gotta say.. my bounce back this year was crazy. elastic level. & i’m proud of me.

‘cause ’17 was tough, but.. i’m tougher, muhfucka.   

 

- I.E. 

lmk.

when i feel what i feel, sometimes it's hard for me to tell you so. you may not be in the mood to learn what you think you know. there are times when i find you wanna keep yourself from me. when i dont have the strength, i'm just a mirror of what i see. but at your best, you are love. you're a positive, motivating force within my life. should you ever feel the need to wonder why, let me know.  

when you feel what you feel, how hard for me to understand. so many things have taken place before this love affair began. but if you feel like i feel, confusion can give way to doubt. for there are times when i fall short of what i say i'm all about. but at your best, you are love. you're a positive, motivating force within my life. should you ever feel the need to wonder why, let me know. 

tell me what it is.. there's no need to make believe. look beyond your world, try and find a place for me

stay at at your best, baby.  

- isley brothers  

sunsets in nevada 🌞

it feels like

sunsets in nevada.  

it's finally going down. 

i stayed for it,

didn't realize i had prayed for it

until it came around.  

it's like  

sunsets in nevada.  

God painted this picture.   

the colors colide

& the skies provide

that feeling  

i feel  

when i'm witcha.  

its like.. 

sunsets in nevada

after a blazing hot day.  

finally finding comfort. 

finally feeling peace

in your presence.  

hoping you can stay.  

we'll watch

the sun set in nevada.  

take a break, take a look,

take a chance.  

gamble everything

except for our love.  

we will keep it,

let it keep us

in a trance.  

like..

the sunsets in nevada.  

 

 

 

- Iman Europe

lava lamp.

there's a lava lamp that sits

on the side of his bed.

about ten inches tall,

round. red.

it reminds me of him.  

it reminds me of us.  

took time to heat up, 

but when it did,  

there was a rush.  

and then there was trust.  

and then there was peace.  

and then there was love,

and now a masterpiece. 

i wanna crash into you

the way this lava has done,

two hearts,  

one drum,  

two lavas

now one.  

 

- I.E. 

TWTMC #1: Power or Perish

to whom this may concern,

I wanted to wait about a week to let my thoughts and feelings digest before I touched on this topic. I'm not too sure if you've been paying attention to the news, but America has now elected an orange-colored devil for a president. okay, okay... maybe devil is too strong (i said maybe). maybe we oughtta "give him a chance", but from the looks of our people that are protesting around the country, patience and faith are the last two sentiments we have for Donald Trump.

my first emotion was denial. there's no way my country is ignorant enough to vote this imbecile into the White House. my second emotion was fear -- fear for my black and brown brothers and sisters who's lives will soon be effected by this imbecile. but i didn't dwell on fear for long. that's not the kind of spirit God gave me. so my emotions settled, and ironically, I arrived at hopefulness.

 I'm looking at it like this: maybe this is the shock therapy we need. slowly, we are coming together more. supporting one another, uplifting and teaching one another, hiring and buying from one another... all of that. & I'm proud of the small changes I've seen within the black community. but yo, there's so much more work to be done. any black person that's pro-black knows that. and I truly believe that this could be the wake up call that unites us.

speaking of pro-black, you should know that I'm the most pro-black black person you gon' find out here, you feel me? on mommas. not anti-white, but pro-black. yes, there is a difference. and with that said, know that it comes from the warmest place in my heart when I say

if we don't become more powerful, we will surely perish.

 

to be continued tomorrow. drop comments below.

-I.E.

[*insert heart eyes*]

there is something truly fascinating about a man who can write. having the capability to eloquently express your heart & mind through text is one of the sexiest artforms— or the sexiest artform, should I say— that a human can possess. 

painting is great, DJ'ing is awesome, photography is beautiful, but a man who can write is worthy to be praised. 

 

- I.E. 

(btw, this is coming from a Creative Writing major. I'm totally biased.) 

burnt mission.

not too sure what part of the world you're from, but here in LA, we have a term called a  burnt mission . this results when you drive hours aimlessly and/or plan to attend an event and all of the plans fall to shit. and tonight, I had a burnt mission. wasted hella time and gas, but I did end up hearing one of my favorite songs on the radio on the ride home, so I guess it wasn't completely... burnt. just crisp.  

i had a  crisp  mission. haha

 

- I.E. 

 

the devil be tryin [lyrics]

 

the same thang

im running from, 

keeps catching me. 

feet going numb.  

i can't complain, 

this life is good,

but it gets hard

in this neighborhood.  

i went to church.  

it's been a while.  

i came to praise,

but im feeling doubt.  

should I be here? 

ive been sinning now.  

got a few scars  

that need healing now.  

 

the devil be tryin.  

the devil be tryin me.  

 

he's saying thangs

that I know is wrong

and I've come too far

to be led along.  

but im caving ino

the conniving ghost. 

can't let him in.  

gotta let him go.  

 

the devil be tryin. 

the devil be tryin me.  

 

IE