Photo Credit: The Source
The whole concept of paying for college can be frightening to recent high school graduates and often times overwhelming. But who knew financial literacy could be entertaining? With the eye-catching and hilarious video “Sallie Mae Back”, rapper Dee-1 captures college students’ attention about the dangers of student loans. The New Orleans native is a graduate of LSU, and is no stranger to student debt. After graduating, Dee-1 was unable to pay back the loans and found himself in deep debt.
After signing a record deal with RCA Records, he was finally able to pay Sallie Mae back with some of his signing bonus! Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most Americans. According to Forbes, student debt is at an all time high, totaling over 1.2 trillion dollar and there are no signs of it decreasing any time soon. With this knowledge and his personal experience, Dee-1 gives helpful tips on the importance on managing money wisely while in college, and being responsible about how many student loans to take out.
Did you ever think your song “Sallie Mae Back” would be this big?
I always knew it would receive positive feedback, and I worked hard on the record so I was confident it would be as big as it is. My record label said ‘Nobody wants to hear that, no one would buy that’ and I really feel like people want to be educated, you just have to present it to them. So I put the song out, shot a video, released it and it blew up! This is the biggest and most popular song I’ve ever put out.
What are some practical tips college students can use so they stay out of debt?
First, graduate ASAP. Remember, you’re on a mission so accelerate your learning. Second, decrease your living expenses. Do not live above your means! As Black people, they make us feel like we’re not cool if we don’t have Jordan’s on, or Gucci, Versace, and Prada but who are they? Don’t let them make you feel that pressure. Third, work. This is a must. I mean, I had four jobs in college, from working on campus to being a basketball coach at a middle school. But just make sure they’re all legal hustles. Lastly, get ahead of paying your student loans. Let’s not fall into the trap they want us beautiful Black people to fall in. We have to change the way things are now, and we have the power to change it.
Not only are you a dope rapper, but you are refreshingly inspiring. Tell us where you find your inspiration.
By putting God first. God put me here on a mission and I want everything I do to glorify Him. My slogan is to Be Real, Be Righteous, and Be Relevant! And that’s really for everybody, it applies to all areas of your life. My inspiration also comes from the people, too. They need to hear more positive and uplifting things on the radio.
Check out Dee-1 in his hilarious and informative music video: “Sallie Mae Back” :