David “Dee-1” Augustine wants young people to be what he calls “The 3 R’s”: Real, Righteous and Relevant. But he also wants them to be financially aware and astute.
That is why the math teacher turned rapper has hooked up with one of the world’s leading financial firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) – to spread the word to high school students about the importance of financial literacy and wealth management. Dee-1 stopped by South Atlanta High School on Thursday to talk to students about living a positive lifestyle and being smart with their money, once they earn it.
“As a society, we always stress, get the money, get the money, get the money,” said Dee-1, who graduated from Louisiana State University in 2009 with a degree in business management/marketing. “But we don’t talk about the proper way to manage money.”
Dee-1 has lived his message. He made regular payments on his student loans while working as a teacher in Baton Rouge, while continuing to pursue his dream of being a performer. When he signed a record deal in 2014, he paid off his loans in full and still drives a 1998 Honda Accord. This is the premise for his first single “Sallie Mae Back.” Watch the video here.
Dee-1’s performance at South Atlanta is part of a five-year, $200 million PwC initiative, designed to help young people across America become more financially literate. The project includes a full classroom curriculum focused on helping young people manage their finances.
“We are committed to youth education and financial literacy,” said PwC executive Shelley Giberson. “We see so many kids graduating from college without any knowledge of financial literacy, and so we want to address that. Dee-1 is able to connect with students in such a compelling and entertaining way.”
Dee-1, who was born in New Orleans but plans to relocate to Atlanta soon, is scheduled to release his first album in February 2017, “Slingshot David.” He said it will feature more positive and conscientious songs like “Sallie Mae Back.”
“I’m a very spiritual person, and I know God put us all here for a purpose,” he said. “I started rapping in college because I saw a need for positive young, black, male role models. I want to use this platform to wake our young people up and help them.”