Dee-1 spoke with students at South Atlanta High School Thursday. Photo courtesy PwC

This rapper teaches students how to avoid crushing student loan debt

The New Orleans rapper who made a hit song about the joy of paying off student loans — Sample lyric: “No sir, I don’t drive a Maybach / But guess what I did? / I finished paying Sallie Mae back” — was in Atlanta this week to teach high school students how to plan for college.

Rapper Dee-1, also known as David Augustine Jr., is a former middle school teacher. He was inspired to create “Salle Mae Back” after using a record deal advance to pay off his own student loans.

This week he combined a tour stop in Atlanta with a visit to South Atlanta High School along with staff from finance and professional services firm PwC.

“I need students who are about to graduate high school to understand how serious it is to have a plan for when they go to college,” he said in an interview.

His main message to students: Make sure you take advantage of all the scholarships available to you. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. And if you take out loans, make sure you use them for education-related expenses — not fancy clothes, studio time or mix tapes.

That’s a lesson Dee-1 said he learned the hard way.

>>Read more: How Atlanta students can go to college for (nearly) free

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