Iman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a musical family. His grandfather, Freddy Jordan was a jazz and session guitarist at the historic King Records where he played for the likes of James Brown, Freddie King, and Charles Brown. His grandmother was a singer who toured Canada and the northeastern United States. Iman started singing at an early age and playing classical piano at age 5. He attended Morehouse College, majoring in music and business. After graduation, Iman moved to New York City where he briefly worked as a strategy consultant.
Iman eventually moved to Los Angeles, in California, where he began performing under the name Mateo and pursued a career in the music industry. He met with former MTV VJ, Quddus., who was working at MySpace Records quickly took interest and brought Iman over to the label which signed him nearly on the spot. While on MySpace records, he released a three part mixtape series entitled "Underneath the Sky", which garnered critical acclaim. The mixtape series included features from Kardinal Offishall, Teairra Mari, Fashawn, and Shawn Chrystopher. On August 13, 2009, Iman recorded a live EP entitled Get To Know Me: Live at Swing House. His video, "Get to Know Me", from the live EP was featured by MTVU, Fuse, and Music Choice. After a year and a half stint at MySpace Records, Iman decided to part ways with the label in 2010.
In September 2010, he signed to Krucial Noise, the label imprint of Alicia Keys longtime producer and songwriting partner, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers. Brothers met him through Quddus during the MySpace Records days. He released his fourth mixtape Love & Stadiums on March 30, 2011 to critical acclaim. The mixtape serves as his first release under Krucial Noise and includes features from Goapele, Pusha T, Ab-Liva, Gilbere Forte, and Kardinal Offishall.
Iman released his debut single, "Say It's So", on September 21, 2011 off his EP Love & Stadiums II. The single is produced by Kerry Brothers and features additional vocals from Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz. In September 2011, Iman shot a video for "Say Its So" in New York City, directed by David "Dahveed" Telles. The single charted independently on the Billboard 100 and reached #40 on the Urban chart, which garnered attention from Larry Jackson and John Ehman at Interscope Records.
In April 2012, he officially signed to Interscope Records. While working with Kerry "Krucial" Brothers on the upcoming album, they decided to release an all original mixtape project for the summer, entitled Suite 823. The mixtape was released on August 1, 2012 to rave reviews, featuring an appearance by Motown recording artist, Stacy Barthe.
On August 13, 2013, he released an EP entitled, "We've Met Before" which peaked at #3 on the iTunes R&B charts. "How Good is Your Love" was the official single released from the EP. The video for the single peaked at #6 on BET's 106 and Park and in February 2014, he performed the song on VH-1's "Single Ladies".
In February 2015, he parted ways with Interscope and Krucial Noise.Underneath the Sky Mixtape Ch. 1: Presented by Mick Boogie (2009)Underneath the Sky Mixtape Ch. 2: Presented by DJ Felli Fel (2009)Underneath the Sky Mixtape Ch. 3: Presented by Tapemasters Inc. (2010)Love & Stadiums Mixtape: Presented by Krucial Noise (2011)Suite 823 (2012)