Ubuntu is a word from African descent that loosely translates into “I am because we are…” That was undoubtedly the mantra for Stephen Brown, aka 5th Child, who has unquestionably left his mark on the Jackson Hip Hop community with his exceptional production talents and thought-provoking lyrics. The multi-talented rap artist, music producer, and sound engineer has the ability to combine poetic commentary with real life stories.
Applauded for his consistent, high energy performances and soulful production, Brown has over 10 plus years of experience as a performer, sharing the stage with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Drake, Slum Village, and more. 5th Child is a fixture in the local music scene and has produced for artists of different genres while also creating original scores for independent films and documentaries.
Aside from his many personal accomplishments, Brown wants to leave a legacy in his hometown – a legacy of being a mentor to the youth and sharing his blessings with others while supporting the people and causes that mean the most to him.
“I’ve always loved teaching,” Brown says. “I have a real passion for mentoring the youth. One of my first jobs out of high school was as a camp counselor at the Boys & Girls Club. I also hosted workshops where I shared my knowledge of music with students from all over Jackson.”
These experiences certainly motivated Brown to explore different ways to connect with the people he holds dear.
Shifting his focus towards generational wealth, an opportunity arose to acquire a space in the Briarwood neighborhood of Jackson, MS. This was the perfect opportunity to further his lifelong passion of teaching and giving back.
Brown says, “I stay literally across the street from the space. I take pride in my community and while out in the neighborhood, I noticed a for sale sign on the building and the idea to acquire it suddenly popped in my head. This could potentially be a community center or a safe haven for artists.”
Brown brought the idea to his loved ones and eventually enough momentum gathered. The previous owner no longer had use for the building and used it as a glorified storage unit.
Brown says, “Stepping inside I could see the use for the different spaces. I started to envision what I could put in this room or that room. My excitement grew as so many ideas began to fill my head.”
A conceptualization turned into a reality as a lifelong passion manifested “The Briarwood Arts Center’’ – a place where Jacksoninans of all ages and backgrounds can come together and network with other professionals and creatives.
“We believe everybody is an artist. We are not the product but the producers of our environment,” Brown says.
While not officially having a soft or grand opening, the Briarwood Arts Center, located at 614 Briarwood Dr., Jackson, MS, has begun hosting different functions. Cam Nation! is a photography workshop for camera users of all skill levels. “The Future Filmmakers Workshop” is for those seeking a career in the film industry. There’s also a pistol marksmanship class, weekly Bible Study, and more.
To donate, sign up as a mentor/volunteer, or to check out more of what the Briarwood Arts Center has to offer, follow @BriarwoodArtsCenter on all social platforms.