iman europe

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.



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  

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.


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.  



pics from the soundstage show

so I'm back in Cali (for good) & my first stop was the Soundstage show. special thanks to Nu-Soul Magazine, Ill Society and Project LA for bringing me & Soulection out. had a great time, man... the vibes were on 10. here are a few pics from the night.



posse full of hotties

posse full of hotties

marvel, stevi, ely, iman, cort, los (dang, we have cool names)

marvel, stevi, ely, iman, cort, los (dang, we have cool names)

call me queen when i'm coming thru.

call me queen when i'm coming thru.

when i spotted a white nigga <3

when i spotted a white nigga <3

yung marvel

yung marvel

i love this picture of my mom recording me. ((: &nbsp;

i love this picture of my mom recording me. ((:  

it's all about forward thinking.

what's beautiful and what sucks about 2015 is that everybody & their mama thinks it's their year. I think the same thing, though, and it's nothing wrong with this. We should all be motivated by a new year. But it's something about 2015 that has people thinking that since they've worked hard thus far, and since they continue to grind, that magically, this will be the year that it all comes together. 

but the fact of the matter is, if you don't make this year your year, then you'll be chilling in December talking 'bout, "damn, time flew by hella fast." in order for us to be successful in any way this year, we have to get out IN THESE STREETS and make it happen. 2015 is not the year of the tweeter. there's a physical world out there that we have to attack.

so that's one thing. you gotta actually do the work. but the other issue, and maybe the most important one, is that since everyone thinks this will be their year, then that means you have to work even harder than the next man. everyone can't win the same race. there's first, there's second, and the rest don't count. so there's no time for stagnancy. you better have a plan.

A PLAN. oh, the importance of a plan. if you think back to your most successful times, I'm sure there were plans involved. get together with your team and come up with something concrete.(as I'm writing this, I'm realizing this post is really to myself, haha. but I hope one of you will take something from it.)

all I'm tryna say is... if you want to win this race, go about 10x harder than you're going right now, and you might get second. 

...'cause I got first. [:

- I.E.