It’s can be easy to criticize rappers for “wasting” their wealth on collections of gold chains and closets full of Air Jordans. Many say some set a poor example for fans about the power of the dollar and would like to see more messages about saving and investing. Rapper 21 Savage is using his hip-hop persona and recent popularity to do things a little differently and empower youth with a lesson that actually most adults my age could use.
The “Bank Account” artist recently made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres show to announce his new partnership with Get Schooled, a non-profit that helps break down the detailed process many students are met with when applying for financial aid. COMPLEX reports that 21 Savage is donating $21,000 to help students open their first bank account. Students can apply at GetSchooled.com and complete a selection of activities to qualify for the “21 Bank Account Badge”. 21 Savage will open 21 bank accounts for 21 kids with an initial deposit of $1000. He announced the effort after performing a daytime TV-safe version of the single. The rapper expressed his belief in learning how to save at an early age:
“I started the 21 Savage Bank Account Campaign and it’s to help kids learn how to save money and make money, and open bank accounts for kids.”
I’m totally here for this. Cycles of poverty often occur when parents may have the best of intentions but improper tools to pass down to their children when it comes to handling finances in not just a way that provides security but opportunities for growth as well. My parents did the best they could encouraging my sister and I to save, budget and learn how to balance a checkbook. But detailed information about interest rates, property taxes and deductibles came in the form of hard lessons that usually left me broke, borrowing and picking my credit score up of the floor until I learned how to manage my money. In fact, even in my thirties I have friends who have given up on trying to understand their student loan agreements and would rather see their tax return go straight to Uncle Sam’s wallet instead of calling Sallie Mae to get an understanding on what they can do to start paying off their debts in a way that won’t have them eating Ramen for the rest of their lives. There hasn’t been one day in my adult life where knowledge about parallelograms has been useful. I’ll take a financial literacy course for my daughter any day over geometry.
You can learn more about 21 Savage’s efforts below: