Student loan debt has unfortunately become the norm for college graduates. The average student is graduating college with $30,000 or more in debt and nearly 3-in-10 young people who define themselves as just starting out cited paying off student loans as their biggest financial challenge.
The stress of student loans even impacts rappers. Rashadsofly, who has performed on college shows with artists such as Rich Homie Quan, lil Boosie, Dj Luke Nasty, & K Camp, etc. expresses how student debt impacted his life decisions and why he feels compelled to help the next generation.
What inspired you to go to college?
I grew up in a small city called Vicksburg, Ms. It was not much to do but be in the streets, play sports, or work a low paying job. However, I knew I wanted to go to the NBA so college was my only option to have a chance at the time so I took that opportunity after losing my best friends to jails and the streets. Therefore, I left to gain a new start.
What college did you attend and why?
I wanted to go to LSU but I didn’t have the grades or the funds. Therefore, I signed up for Southern Miss University. I got accepted but my fafsa did not cover enough so I had to take another route. I didn’t want my mom to have to struggle anymore trying to help me so I decided to go to this HBCU called ALCORN STATE. My grandad was the dean therefore I could get scholarships to make it easier.
What was the process like for taking out student loans?
I just remember walking to the financial aid office on campus and trying to take out a loan for a small amount but they told me I was eligible for much more. I planned on not spending any of it but really wanted to live nice due to moving house to house so i just needed a new start. But then I met this music manager on campus and started shooting music videos and getting studio time. Then, I start getting clothes. I was not a professional at budgeting money but my fan base grew.
After graduating college, how did your student debt impact your career choices?
I always wanted to give back to my community and after college I started working in warehouses struggling to meet ends. I tried paying loans back and started to realize I wasn’t going to be able to make a dent in the total. I knew I had to do something else and that’s when I really started committing to my passion for music since I already built a fan base using the money to do videos and perform at school shows.
Why do you think this message resonates with people?
I’m a living testimony. I grew up poor but I still found a way to escape my environment even though I wasn’t rich. I utilize my situation and made it work
How do you hope your music can help current and future students?
I hope I can enlighten students that no matter your situation. It’s only failure if you give up. I use loan money to invest in myself without having a plan just having faith