There was a time during the pandemic when Jacoby Browder, a Birmingham native who grew up around Prattville, was out of work for about seven months. Add to that the pressure of being the unemployed partner in a relationship and caring for a child, and Browder found himself in a depressed state of mind.
Fortunately, Browder’s grandmother saw what was going on. His advice was to write, not in his usual style as Montgomery Jacoby X’s rap artist.
âShe was texting me and telling me I had to write a children’s book,â Browder said. âAt the time, I really didn’t listen to what she was saying.
Finally, he came up with the idea.
“I took it like, it’s God telling him something.” It’s God speaking to me through her, âsaid Browder. âSo I should just pay attention and start writing a book. It didn’t take me that long to find inspiration after it inspired me.
After meditating and praying over it, Browder said something clicked. It took her about two weeks to write âThe Words I Speak I See,â which will be released in January. It’s now available for pre-order for $ 14.99 from Life Legacy Publishing at authorjbrowder.com. It will also be available at Barnes & Noble, Walmart and Amazon.
âWe’re having our first book launch event on Jan. 9,â Browder said.
Although this is a chapter book with illustrations, aimed at Grades 5 to 12, Browder said it really is for everyone.
âBasically he’s a young boy struggling with self-identity, self-love and the love he longs for himself and the people around him, like his familyâ , said Browder. âHe has a hard time being accepted with people at his school. “
As the boy progresses he learns that his thoughts can create a positive reality.
âBasically we’re trying to get people to understand that the way they think and talk about themselves – how they encourage or demean themselves – can change your life in a negative or a positive way,â Browder said.
It worked for Browder, who before the pandemic was a teacher at college for children with autism. Browder said he gained pride and confidence in writing the book.
âIt helped me transcend my mind to a different place,â he said. “And I started to receive more blessings.”
He said a portion of the proceeds from the book will go to support mental health and autism programs.
Browder recently started his own business, Artists for Autism, Inc.
âWe specialize in school programs that welcome children with autism and other mental and social disabilities,â said Browder. âWe entertain and educate them through the arts. “
He also created a non-profit group affiliated with it.
âWe network with a lot of other similar programs,â Browder said.
MORE WITH JACOBY
Browder, who attended school in Marbury and then in Prattville, attended Tuskegee University. He graduated with a license in history.
âI loved to write, but I never had any interest in creating something for the world to read,â Browder said.
Instead, he wrote music to listen to as a rapper, singer, songwriter. Under Jacoby X, he released four mix tapes and three albums – Unapologetically Me, Fake Vibes and Restoration.
âI’ve been making music since 2013,â said Browder, who in June delved into his music history for These Urban Times on the âPull Up A Chairâ podcast with Terrell Thomas.
Browder’s love of music began around the age of 7. As a preacher’s child, he used to sneak around to watch performers on BET like his favorite, Michael Jackson. But when it came to rap, Lil Wayne was on top.
Browder’s early rap was in church, but it wasn’t in the style he wanted. So he put the music aside and focused on sports in Prattville, which eventually led to him playing football in Tuskegee. From there, he intended to go pro, but that didn’t happen.
In the midst of the sport, he and his teammate Tuskegee AJ began to focus on music, working in the studio that AJ had in his dormitory. This partnership prompted Browder to improve his rap skills.
Browder would continue to open for big artists like Lil Baby, 2chainz, Migos, and more.
âHe’s an amazing artist,â said Diego The Great, who worked with Browder at DTG Studios in Montgomery, speaking on the 2019 video Jacoby X No Apologies This Me Episode 2. âHe already knows exactly how he wants it. let it ring before you get here. “
Browder is still improving today and said he remains strong and positive for and with his son. They frequently went to the studio together during the pandemic.
âI want him to see that his dad is there to do his thing,â Browder said.
Follow Browder on Facebook at Koby Antonio Coby, Twitter @browderjacoby and on Instagram @jacoby_x.