Let’s blaze it up in the name of those that death became
and those who name loved ones amongst the slain.
Aggression is almost instinctive in the city where the blitz hit,
estates dominate the landscape of every district.
Where men love to boast about crime, bait theyselves up,
Police had done spy them from a mile.
Now, which one of these stooges can come test my heights?
We’re fire and ice, like logic and the fool’s advice.
My Garveyite foresight, reveals to me what fools see in hindsight.
Looking beyond the hype, price tags and bright lights,
beyond all-a-dat drawing knife and gun fights,
beyond the stereotypes that plague the inner city.
The ignorance only serves to make the crisis worse,
the devil’s ways infiltrate even the wisest church.
Me and my people deal with life science, year to year
and still stay shitty and pissy like estate stairs, for real.

I drink with Africans straight from the continent
and live amongst immigrants in my estate tenement.
Speaking with my pen again, I think in black ink.
Sisters, youths and grown men again, come we make the link.
I wrote this, hoping you will quote this to one another,
take it with you as you travel through this concrete Gomorrah.
In a left hand drive with Dutch plates, my brandy spills,
bunin’ lean-up on the right, sliding down Brixton Hill.
Watching the fatherless play crime games in the early hours,
Getting their name mentioned, screw face, sour.
Over estimating power, under estimating their potential,
75% of black youth leave school with no credentials.
Coming off their estates calling that ghetto,
‘cause there’s coppers on the outside and guns in the middle.
False prophets say they working on it, speaking in riddles,
the average age of killers dropping north and south of the river.
Equipped to kill and contemplating murder, that’s a child, lord.
Fools drift to sleep and slide off.
Pseudo Afrocentric baby mothers and fathers clashing,
gwan neglect your seed, I guarantee your revolution ain’t gonna happen.
That’s the legacy from the black holocaust years.
I urinate on architecture built on the proceeds of slave trade.

Look into yourself for answers.

You better have a plan for your child ‘cause the system’s got plans for us.

© I.E. Brown


Throughout these 32 boroughs, my love ethic spread, like rumours of the dead
To young and old, Islamic, Christ like and true dreads.
Respect to them that put their youths above all other things,
May God curse those that don’t as they do their offspring.
My bredrin said ‘may I bleed to death if I leave
them to beg, steal or borrow, not one of my seed’
Without doubt or question I listened as he spoke
‘love your seed, love yourself’ that’s quote unquote.
Yeah, true king ya’ bless your girl gave birth to a new king
For that I brought a 8th of grade and a bottle, praises due king.
We reasoned like two kings, igniting peace pipes.
Overhead the weed smoke hung like yolk floating in the egg white.
Never thought that we’d be looking back 25 years,
celebrating new life, spearing a thought for dead peers.
Daily lessons keep you wise to the science of your life,
contemplating putting a diamond on your wife.

It was at a Ghanaian naming ceremony where I first saw this sister.
I was on her from the off, she could see that clear as crystal.
She was dishing out food on plastic plates,
I had eyes only for the Isis, black ebony straight.
She was raised mixing scripture with the hocus-pocus,
Got burnt a couple-a-times, now her heart is guarded like a fortress.
What her big sister had to cope with made her more cautious
Look at this, best friend went straight from blind faith to hopeless.
I’m facing resistance, I invaded the kitchen
when her big sister’s child father gate crashed the christening.
Domesticated violence they beat each other black blue,
His name engraved on her flesh, she’s looking to laser off that tattoo.
Barber shop rumours test this brother’s pride,
talk about champagne and white wine, big sis fucking out on Valentines
This is the love ethic, so there’s no need to distress it,
don’t you know your claim to this black man is uncontested?
Listen this, hear what the science is, it’s deeper than you think, miss
I exist between the man made and the mystic
Best friend, we both grown people, leave all doubts at the door,
Don’t judge the man you see before you by those you seen before.

The love ethic dates back to the eighties, teens learning the basics.
Me and my little crew, broke but acting like we making.
Cussing, clutching my crutch, pushing up bass on sound tapes,
pointing gun fingers at the mirror, tempting faith.
Moving like Siamese, we ended up like chalk and cheese.
Grew up together then grew apart, I still used to bell him and tell him,
He was on some idiot business, acting wicked, burning bridges,
Disrespecting everything from bredrin, mum to missus.
His meditation is just living ain’t enough,
He spoke of death in the context of better that than be bruck.
I told him take ya cash, star, finance a bigger vision,
but some men can’t seem to make the transition.
The people he choose to move with, was wild like the world outside,
when he got shot they were either deaf, dumb, missing or blind.
No A&E, the pronouncement was dead at the scene.
His mother mourned her beloved, it was a shrine before I reached.
Women contribute floral tributes then searched
for names of those who did the same, there’s bullet hole in the brick work.
The grieving is hard, Star, ‘though I predicted it like scripture.
I’m seeing my brother’s falling come to pass.
A bitten tongue, a sober thought stops me short of speaking ill of the deceased,
Intoxicated at the wake, after sneaking past the priest.
Too young for death but too old to not know better,
I’m screwing as I pray the father bless ya.

© I.E. Brown


One love to black youth, adored and scorned, blessed and cursed through your
Through your teens to twenties, stress on young minds doubles,
Opportunity knocks, but you too busy underneath your troubles.
Name brands, cars, clubs and wine bars got you acting like addicts.
Money hungry ya’ haunted everything for cash ya’ on it.
Now they see you penetrating ya’ luck won’t stay up,
The drama wasting time and cash, you back on bruck
Settle your mind on bigger plans, shift the gears, on your mission
Hold your position, now ya’ chasing ambition.
Lord knows best and settle for no less than the treasure, Black Magic rise

What you got?
Not half of what I’m supposed to get
What you want?
Something proper with my name on it
What you need?
Time, so can I put my brain on it
As this weed is medicated, these words are meditated

You can have it!
When you wise to what you need
You can have it!
You respect your self enough to say it's yours
You can have it!
God expects great things from great men
You can have it!
Settle for no less than the treasure, see black, see God
You can have it!

For sisters, youths and grown men, I sing the champions' anthem
Burnt brass, each of you worth more than your weight in platinum
Health, wealth and wisdom in ya’ life I-Sis and kings
Four score and more years ago Garvey brought light to the diaspora
Now we see crystal clarity, no peace before the power.
Boost these youth to excellence to balance the scales
Progressive, photogenic black child, beauty your walls in picture frames
But who's that conspiring to curse the Black Magic?
Educating you to fail, telling you can't have it
With soul, flesh and blood, before I go to God, I’m blessing youths with every

What you got?
Not half of what I’m supposed to get
What you want?
Something proper with my name on it
What you need?
Time, so can I put my brain on it
I live by the ancient, 1 in 20 meditation


© I.E. Brown


We still working in the fields, blood,
And it’s 2 thousand and a piece plus.
For real the whole of us lot
understand what we got to deal with.
Me, I’m looking my slice of the cake,
wake up and see it’s me who has to bake it.
A pile of bills, working double shifts,
I’m just one of the many trying to scrape it.
Tube train, Bricky bound,
escalator up and exit Brixton station
Bald heads and braids, dreads and fades,
South London foundation
Take a left Coldharbour Lane,
stop to reason with some man I know, more questions than answers
In the midst of Benz Machines, big bikes
and coppers looking drugs and guns amongst the glamour

Yeah that’s what we working with.
South London live, London wide
Stuck between the Trident pressure and converted replicas
North London live, London wide
Yeah that’s what we working with.
West London live, London wide.
Pirate crews transmit from estate roofs.
East London live, London wide

Certain names is getting mention, king.
Local faces gracing the front page again.
Two suspects gone to ground, one victim gone to God,
I know them man ain’t on nothing long.
Now the barber-shop-talk like Chinese whispering,
the black grapevine contradicting the media spin.
Bettin’ shop elders leave it all to Christ, sipping the sauce,
putting their money where their faith is.
Speculation condemns men to bird,
as a forgotten face touch the road, on probation
He sees places changed and faces ageing,
Makes him reflect on years he wasted.
A new generation takes shape, graduates, addicts and the hustlers.
His little sister’s now official single parent.
Showing him what’s gwanin’, while they 2s the weed,
bending the rules, minding her little one and clearing arrears on rent.


Young black thing adorned in jeans,
inner city queen, a whole new different type of sexy.
Give me the choice between the road and you today,
it wouldn’t be hard to make, in them times the road wouldn’t let me go.
I hope you know I never meant to
fuck about and offend ya’,
But y’know how it is, drink, weed and music mix,
I miss ya like the sun in winter.
Me and you go back far
to the era of the Nigel Benn and Eubanks war,
Top Cat, General Levy and Sweetie Irie smash it,
bare all-dayers over so in Brockwell Park.
Omar and Mica, Karen Wheeler and Soul 2 Soul,
before the Roland Adams murder and the Stephen Lawrence episode
Oi, so this one is for more blessings and old times sake,
Peace and power to youths and grown people on all ends and estates, for real.

© I.E. Brown


Semi ugly, slim, brown skin, discreetly militant.
Chat that London barber shop talk and still sound like an immigrant.
Third generation Windrush, Caribbean tradition.
From diaspora to sons of slaves, I trace it back to ancient kingdons.
I use to linger, now I on it, politics and economics,
history of the empire, colonies and the empty promise.
I wasted time debating with them trendy intellectuals,
arguing for points and prestige, but never on a level.
Them sophistocrats use intellect like special effects, they best just settle,
that sophistication is cosmetic plus the effects ain’t special
enough to dazzle the wise, their over standing is infantile,
taking this black thing for style, I shun them like they paedophiles.
Anything more than look a little like me is highly unlikely.
The high-falutin agreement’s weak, they attack like dead sheep.
Many move in the image, wearing a mask of manners to concede deceit,
hate radiates like heat from live meat.

My links range from big earners to the broke and blacklisted,
teachers and black scholastic who don’t hesitate to mix it.
Not the herb with the power, but peace and power,
we reason deep about everything from raising youths in these dark hours,
to the roots and ramifications of two planes and two towers,
it’s Barber shop philosophy, ya hear me.
Trying to close this generation gap, bring the love ethic back,
Settle for no less than the treasure, see God see black.
African Carib, in foreign lands I reside, where the same hidden hand presides,
where nothing is seen as sacred, least of all the fatherless child.
The system fed our elders six hundred and sixty six versions of truth.
We inherit to burden of proof and pass that down to the youth.
Look and see how many teens define themselves through crime,
When there’s a whole world of knowledge that exist outside their minds.
Some look to make, shotting a Oz or anything above an 8th,
splitting a nine bar with broken bells, having to estimate the weight.
Get yam, it’s jail then probation, nuff of them barely started shaving,
many months of facing screws before they start screw facing POs.
We were under that nonsense, now expects something else.
Who so ever chat cuss ‘bout ‘these-youth-now-a-days’, man rest ya-f**kin’-self.

I stand up and walk with grown men who strive to bring light to the young
and I bear witness their works, unseen and unsung.
I was right there when you caught your son and asked him ‘what you doing
Right there you stepped in, you refused to stand back and lose him.
Bring him through from under achievement to a level of over standing,
from another black youth about to fail to one who smashed his exams.
Three As, two Bs, one C, school straight to college,
That’s what the presence of a proper black man did.
That’s the essence of what true respect is.
Star, if I had a throne to put your name on I would crown you king.
You got first choice to influence what them youth of yours aspire to,
blessings come back with interest when the establishment retires you.

© I.E. Brown