How He Rapped His Way to $0 in Sallie Mae Student Loan Debt with Dee-1


In this episode of the Building Us podcast, co-hosts Erik Garcia, CFP® and Dr. Matt Morris, LPC, LMFT interview David Augustine Jr., better known by his stage name, Dee-1. Dee-1 is a Hip-Hop Artist, Public Speaker, and Educator. Dee-1 talks about his struggles paying off his student debt and how his success in the music industry changed his life forever.

Episode Highlights:

  • Erik introduces David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr. (2:15 )
  • Dee-1 mentions that he hates labels because he thinks that it boxes you in, or you’re trying to prove to other people who you are and what you do. (3:07)
  • Dee-1 shares that he wants to prove to everyone that you can do a lot of things in life. Because at the end of the day, it’s about what type of person you are as you’re doing what you do. (4:36)
  • Dee-1 shares that hopefully, his character could be as impactful as his numbers or his platform, because it has produced longevity in what he does. (5:09)
  • Erik shares that when he’s dealing with people’s finances, some people manage their money, but some people come to him for more financial planning, financial counseling, or financial coaching, and he found that people are not necessarily doing with their money, what’s valuable to them. (6:30)
  • Erik mentions a line from the song, I’m Not Perfect (I’m A Christian)(7:09)
  • How significant is it for Dee-1 to align what he does with who he is, and what he values? (7:29)
  • Dee-1 thinks that maturity sets in when we realize that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it, and just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that you should buy it. (9:16)
  • Dee-1 shares that his song called I Don’t Wanna Let You Down, is a song for all of the people who realize that they’re not just a symbol but, they’re a symbol of something greater and they’re doing it for more than themselves. (10:41)
  • Dee-1 mentions that the key to becoming the best version of yourself is by adding value to other people’s lives. (13:30)
  • Erik mentions Dee-1’s album entitled, Slingshot David(13:54)
  • Erik mentions that leadership is about influence. (15:00)
  • Dee-1 mentions that Erik and his family made a cameo in one of his music videos, Long Time Coming. (15:37)
  • Dee-1 shares that nowadays, there’s a lot of twisted agendas that people have, particularly when it comes to crossing racial lines. (15:53)
  • Erik thinks that at this point, we find ourselves in a country where there’s a lack of true understanding of each other, we come at each other from opposite ends and we can’t find commonality. (18:38)
  • Dee-1 shares that he’s into highlighting our similarities and our commonalities more than our differences because leading with love allows you to see the best in somebody. (20:11)
  • How did Dee-1 come up with the song Sallie Mae Back, and where did that song lead him? (23:52)
  • Dee-1 explains how the name of Sallie Mae is associated with administering student loans and Sallie Mae has funded a lot of people’s education. (24:16)
  • Dee-1 mentions that he used to be a middle school teacher. (27:15)
  • Dee-1 shares that at one point, he strategically signed a record deal with one of the biggest labels in the world, RCA Records(30:11)
  • Dee-1 shares that he was a featured speaker at FinCon, and was also featured at Forbes and Washington Post(33:37)
  • Erik mentions that in 2016, he wrote a blog about Dee-1’s song Sallie Mae Back called, Squash Debt: Nine lessons from Dee-1 on paying off debt(36:07)
  • How does the idea of lifestyle, and spending money on lifestyle often come up? (44:32)
  • Dee-1 mentions that going to Africa changed his life forever. (45:15)
  • Erik mentions the song entitled, No Car Note(47:39)
  • In Dee-1’s opinion, it’s powerful not having a car note. (48:37)
  • Did people tell Dee-1 that they don’t want to listen to his music because he doesn’t drive a fancy car like a real rapper? (48:33)
  • Erik shares that finance is all about priorities and decisions and people don’t understand the difference between income and net worth. (51:29)
  • Erik mentions that financially successful people tend to be more socially indifferent. (52:40)
  • What is the Mission Vision Lifestyle all about? (54:10)
  • Dee-1 explains the three core principles of the Mission Vision Lifestyle. (54:32)
  • Dee-1 mentions that the people who are aligned with those core values are the ones who are going to make this world a better place. (56:31)

Key Quotes:

  • “All is well but you know, although there’s a lot of turmoil in the world, I’m healthy, I’m blessed, and I’m more appreciative of my blessings than my burdens. So, all is well.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “I’m trying to prove to people that you can do a bunch of things. But at the end of the day, it’s about what type of person you are as you’re doing what you do because we have space in this world for a lot of different professions.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “Longevity and the success of what you do, I think is determined by who you are. So I’m trying to replace the emphasis on who we are as people because we have kids growing up and they’re worried about the type of human being they are, the type of love and respect and, the sincerity that accompanies anything they do, they’ll be successful no matter what they do.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “I’m talking from David Augustine Jr.’s standpoint. I am my best version of myself when I’m putting others first and when I’m thinking about why God gave me the talents and the platform that I have. And when I think about it, it’s not to just glorify and glamorize myself. It’s to be a beacon of light, to be a voice of hope, to be a voice of reason in a chaotic world, but also to be a light and a source of hope for people who need it.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “The heart side of me knows that it’s the right thing to do. The business side of me is always fighting that uphill battle to figure out how you create an appetite for unity, positivity, and progression in our world.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “I want to chase my dream of being an artist, and I feel like it’s gonna be an uphill battle. I know, but I think I can make it, and see some longevity and success in the music industry.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “Balancing who I am with what I do and with what I spend on, and I realized at that point that who I am as an artist, and as a man, I’m the antithesis to what most rappers portray themselves.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “I just cut to the chase bro. The song Sallie Mae big has changed My life forever, bro.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “We’re at constant war with ourselves, with our egos, and with the propaganda that is pushed on us to try to fulfill our desires of what we want, even if it’s not what we need. And that’s the primary war that we are always at with ourselves and with society.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.
  • “Maturity sets in when we realize that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it. And just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that you should buy it.” – David “Dee-1” Augustine Jr.

Resources Mentioned:

About Erik Garcia

Hi there, I'm Erik. How you manage your money and other resources impacts practically every aspect of your life. I help individuals and families invest plan for a more secure and predictable financial future. Thanks for taking time on my site!

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