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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



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About This Episode


apper Dee-1 (@dee1music), David Augustine Jr., is a socially conscious rapper, entrepreneur, and podcaster inspiring millions on a journey to empowerment.  His commitment to spreading positivity and financial inclusion led him to become the first rapper in Louisiana history to be appointed by the governor.

In 2016, Dee-1 released a hit song, “I Finished Paying Sallie Mae Back,” describing how he used his record deal proceeds as an artist to pay off his student loans instead of buying luxury items.  The song exploded and since then, David has made so much impact in the community and showed that you don’t have to rap about life’s vices to be successful in music.  

Today, Dee-1 continues to make music and inspire people through alternate channels, including his Mission Driven with Dee-1 podcast.  His Latest album, Finding Balance has been a success, debuting #4 on iTunes its first week of release on February 9, 2022.  If you’re looking for a track to up level your finances, “Residual” is all about financial freedom. 



  • How Dee-1 Used His Record Deal Proceeds to Pay Off His Student Loans
  • How He Mastered His Craft To Generate Enough Money To Pay Off His Student Loans
  • Why He Chose A Different Creative Path As A Rapper 
  • How You Can Become The Best Version of Yourself By Focusing on What Matters
  • much, much, more…


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Dee-1 (00:00:00): Uh, working to figure out how to overcome that fear. Um, and that takes intentional effort. That takes consistency. That takes, uh, prayer. And that, that just takes like a lot of work. You gotta shut up and grind. You know, you, you can't make excuses, cuz the fear is what will produce the excuses and the fear will put the excuses right on your lap.

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:00:23): Welcome to the student loan podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:25): Here. You'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses

Daphné Vanessa (00:00:32): And inspiring stories about paying off student loans where your host Daphné Vanessa and

Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:39): Shamil Rodriguez.

Daphné Vanessa (00:00:42): Please rate, review and subscribe to the student loan podcast by visiting the student loan podcast on apple podcast or wherever you find your podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:00:52): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinions.

Daphné Vanessa (00:00:58): The student loan pod is brought to you by start new where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com. Hello everyone. And welcome again to another episode of the student loan podcast. Today's episode, we have a guest that needs no introduction. Ladies, gentlemen, they Z we have the one, the only D one here to talk to us about student loans because I know you heard his track. I finished paying Sally Mayback Mayback. So without further ado, D one, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dee-1 (00:01:41): Thank you so much much for having me. Um, I do think that an introduction is necessary because I don't, even if people heard my song, uh, about paying my student loans off mm-hmm selling me back that still doesn't mean that they know me. So hopefully that's what today can, um, you know, love I, yeah, so, so the introduction, the short of it is that, uh, I'm from new Orleans, Louisiana, mm-hmm , uh, I graduat to high school and I chose to attend LSU, Louisiana state university for college. Um, ironically I had full scholarships to several other schools and I didn't have a full scholarship to LSU, but I went there honestly, chasing behind a girl. Um, oh, yeah. And, and so I'm sure I'm not the first or the last person in the history of life to no, um, to have love, make you do some, uh, some, some irrational things. Of course, you know,

Daphné Vanessa (00:02:32): Of course.

Dee-1 (00:02:33): So that's how I ended up there and uh, literally had to take out loans, which was crazy because I was like, whoa, I had full rides. Mm-hmm to, uh, places like how or university place, like university of Florida. Um, yeah like, like several schools, actually, even more than that, but got there took out student loans. Um, while I was in school, I began rapping, uh, just as a hobby, be a lot of other college students at the time. Just kind of having fun, having ciphers with your, with your friends in the dorm room mm-hmm but I definitely noticed that, Hey, I'm, I'm pretty good at I'm better than my friends. That's nice. yeah, I'm better than my friends at this. So, uh, that led to me saying I would actually love to be a rapper and, and, and full time be able to get into the hip hop industry.

Dee-1 (00:03:24): Yeah. And by the time I graduated college, uh, I had the desire to do it, but I didn't feel like I was, uh, far enough in the, in the craft or had a big enough fan base to do it full time. So I did what we go to school to do, which is I used, uh, my degree to get a job and to gain employment. I became a teacher mm-hmm , uh, I was a middle school teacher in Baton Rouge in baker, Louisiana, right outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And that was where, uh, I realized like, Hey, trying to pay these student loans back, uh, on this, on this teacher self meager meager teacher salary, uh, is, is proven more difficult than I would've liked it to be. I didn't do teach for America or anything. I okay. Yeah. A lot of people wonder, like, did you do TFA? No. Um, mm-hmm so in doing that, I was still pursuing my, my hip hop, uh, aspirations on the side from being a teacher. How

Daphné Vanessa (00:04:19): Do, did you make time for that?

Dee-1 (00:04:21): How did I make time for it? I chose to be a teacher because of the built in time that exists. Yeah. So I went to school, I got a business degree. Um, um, I could have easily went and worked for a fortune 500 company or, or I got a marketing degree to be specific. So I could have been doing marketing for any company in, in the world. I had good grades and everything, but, uh, I was like, yo, teaching, you get your summers off. You get weekends off, you get outta school by three or three 30 every day, you get holidays off. There was so much built in time to automatically pursue, uh, my passion of doing music. How that, that, that, that played a big role in my decision.

Daphné Vanessa (00:05:01): That's really smart. Did you hear that guys? He made a conscious decision, no matter what talent he had to make a choice that allowed for him to have the time a commodity that you can't replace mm-hmm so that he could do his craft. Yes. I love

Dee-1 (00:05:15): That very important. Cuz I, I did understand that there was a bigger picture that I was, um, ultimately trying to, to paint and that picture was, I just wanted to have impact in whatever profession I chose. So for me it was definitely impact over income. Mm-hmm the, the, the teaching profession would allow me to pour into students mm-hmm every day and, and, you know, plant those seeds that mm-hmm could eventually, you know, sprout into them having amazing futures. And if they have amazing futures, we have a better world because of it, you know, love that. Yeah. So that was, uh, that was definitely like the instant gratification that I wanted to receive from a, a profession. Now the delayed gratification was since I am picking something that builds in time for me to pursue my real passion, which is music mm-hmm , um, I may still be able to, you know, achieve success in that, in that world, uh, because of the time that I built in, I didn't wanna be like some of my friends and pick this profession that, um, that looks really good, good on paper.

Dee-1 (00:06:17): And that pays, you know, a lot of money or what we think is a lot of money, but it literally leaves no bandwidth to do what you really love to do. I didn't wanna be like that. I, I didn't. And teaching teaching was that perfect bridge to give me the instant gratification that I wanted of knowing I'm making a difference to pay my bills. Like I was able to pay my bills off in a teacher mm-hmm and to give me the time, like you said, because that time is irreplaceable mm-hmm and it was the music that I was able to create during my off time that I was afforded as a teacher that ultimately helped my, uh, my music career take off to where, you know, and we, we can get into that part, but teaching only lasted two years for me because the off time that I had and the motivation that I got while being in the classroom and seeing the impact that hip hop music was having on these students actually propelled the music I was creating during my off time. And it was that music that I was creating that ultimately blew up enough to where I was able to take the classroom and say, I'm still a teacher at heart, but I'm not in the classroom teaching anymore. I'm able to jump into this. You're teaching in your music. There you go. I'm able to jump into this music industry. And, and now the world is my classroom.

Daphné Vanessa (00:07:26): Oh my goodness. That is so inspirational. And as a musician myself, but who did not take it seriously, unfortunately, I really commend you for making that hard decision, right. To choose your passion and to, to strategically make a decision on how you're gonna make sure that that happens. What made you make that decision and what made you not do what everybody else was doing, which is take the high paid salary job, you know, supposedly enough to pay off your student loans. Why didn't you do that?

Dee-1 (00:07:54): Yeah, because death was a real, uh, reality that I confronted earlier in life that I knew. Like, unfortunately I cannot sit here and tell you how long I have on this earth or how long you have on this earth. Mm-hmm . And the fact that life and death are so unpredictable. Uh, I needed to make sure that however much time I have, and if it's a hundred more years cool. But if it's, uh, if it's far, you know, less than that, I wanted to just make sure that my time was spent down here doing things that I was at least passionate about, you know, uh, I think with the passion, you know, comes the, the productivity with, with being extra productive and, and extra passionate about whatever you're doing. I think that that provides the paper. Mm-hmm , you know what I mean? That we want, cuz if you stand out at whatever you do, you could be picking up garbage mm-hmm .

Dee-1 (00:08:42): But if you're great at it and you're passionate about it, you're gonna find that like, I'm kind of like upper echelon, you know, top 10th of, of what I do. And I probably get compensated more than the bottom 90, you know, in what I do. And then along with all those PE comes the other one, which is peace, you know? And, and to me that that piece comes along with doing something that you're passionate about, something that you're productive with and something to where you're like, Hey, paper wise, I'm not, I'm not, uh, I'm not comparing what I make to anyone else. I'm just comparing it. Am I maxing out at what I can be doing in this particular field? And, and for me it's like, yeah, like if I'm, if I'm, if I'm doing all those things, then I'm fine. And that's what made me, uh, that's what made me make the decision to not only want to teach, but even afterwards to say like music is not just an endeavor that, uh, um, that I'm doing to try to get popular.

Dee-1 (00:09:37): Mm-hmm, , there's so many artists who they just want. Yep. They just want, uh, validation. And they're looking forward from those comments online from fans, or they wanna feel like they matter to someone. So it's like, let me go and rap, maybe I can get popular and get famous. And maybe fame will, uh, fill in this big hole that I really feel in my spirit, you know, to where I don't feel significant. I felt very significant as Mr. Augustine, the, the middle school teacher, you know, but then as D one, it became even more of a, um, of an endeavor where it's like, I'm really like a servant leader, you know? So this isn't even all about me because, uh, I might have the platform and people might see my stature rise as an artist or more people knowing my name, but really I'm pouring out so much of myself.

Dee-1 (00:10:24): So many of my life experiences, I'm turning 'em into songs every night when I'm on a stage, I'm literally pouring my all out there. Mm-hmm so people are like, this dude really expands a lot of energy on this stage. I'm on social media, interacting with fans, uh, and with supporters, not just, uh, doing like some people do, which makes no sense to me and not appreciating mm-hmm , you know, their, their supporters and, and really just kind of like taking them. So for granted, and I'm just like, nah, I'm, I'm that person who views himself as yes, I'm in the leadership position. but I'm a servant as well. Mm-hmm and the servanthood comes before even being a leader.

Daphné Vanessa (00:11:01): I love that. Mm-hmm I love that your servant leadership is, is part of what you rap about too. Right? Like I feel like when I hear your music and I I'm sure other people, you know, derive different things. When I hear it, I hear who I should be, you know, who I should strive to be. Mm-hmm examples of, of what a good person would be like to become. Talk to us about why you chose to rap about that instead of cars, money.

Dee-1 (00:11:32): Yeah. Well, those, those things, those things don't really, uh, apply to my real life, you know? Um, I don't own, uh, I mean, I do own a foreign car, but I it's a Honda, you know what I mean? For real, it's technically a foreign though, you know, rappers talk about having foreigns. I have a foreign, I have a foreign car, but, but it's paint in full. Yeah. And I don't have a car note, you know what I mean? Um, and, uh, when we talk about money, yes, I have money for sure. Uh, but um, if I'm gonna rap about money, I'm not just gonna rap about what's in my bank account. I'm gonna rap about, uh, number one, the hard work that went into getting this number two, I'm gonna wrap about not what I have, but what I'm going to have because of the investments that I'm making with my money.

Dee-1 (00:12:19): And number three, I'm not gonna wrap about, uh, just having something in present tense, but I'm gonna wrap about like how to make sure that in the future tense, you have more and not less because you either gonna go up or down in the future. So to wrap about what I have presently, like so many people are obsessed with, you know, what they, what they have and they talk about what they have. I'm less worried about that. I have what I have mm-hmm , but if I'm gonna make music about something, or if I'm gonna use my platform to speak about something, it's gonna be about what I'm striving for in the future and giving you the blueprint or on how I'm gonna get there. You know, I love that. Yeah. Like that's the main thing. Um, I don't want to just promote the prize. I wanna promote the process,

Daphné Vanessa (00:13:00): The journey. Yeah.

Dee-1 (00:13:01): The

Daphné Vanessa (00:13:02): Journey. Yeah. And, and leading into the journey. Let's talk about your student loan journey.

Dee-1 (00:13:07): Okay.

Daphné Vanessa (00:13:08): How did you pay off your student loans first? How much did you have? How much did you accumulate by, you know, not taking those full-time classes?

Dee-1 (00:13:15): I don't even wanna say how much I had. Cause it makes me, cuz it makes me, it makes me feel like, uh, I have, I have spoken about it and mm-hmm and I find it, people get very, um, people get very, I would say territorial when it comes to the, their student loan journeys to where some people, people feel like, Hey, like, you know, you didn't have as much as me, so you didn't have it as hard as I have it now. So you not really, you know, or some people look at it like, whoa, you had so much in student loans compared to me that, you know, I don't have to do the same things you did D I don't have to make the same sacrifice as you made because you got way more it. And what I have mm-hmm , you know what I mean? So these principles, I have these, these principles that I, that I followed mm-hmm to really help me, uh, eradicate that student loan debt. And when some people try to diminish them or say that I don't need to listen to that because, you know, we, we are in different brackets in terms of what we had. I'm just like, just know, uh, just know that it, it, it was real, you know, it was, and it took a record deal and we are talking about that. It took a record deal to, uh, to pay off.

Daphné Vanessa (00:14:23): And, uh, and so, okay. We, we won't go into the number, but it took a record deal to pay off your student was, it was a lot of money cuz I heard record deals. You know, you, you're not, you're not poor.

Dee-1 (00:14:34): Yeah. Now when you sign a record yeah. That's like the that's like that debate it. There you go. It's kind of like, whoa, I'm officially in a different tax bracket now. And, and yo, this is definitely the biggest, uh, lump sum of money you get in advance, they call it, you know? So they give you like,

Daphné Vanessa (00:14:50): Like when you write a book

Dee-1 (00:14:52): Yeah. There you go. There you go. Um, yep. I need to write a book too. Um, we can help you with that word word. Yeah. Like I need to do that. Um, I have a lot to, to, to share with people mm-hmm but yeah, so you get that advance and for me it was like, oh, now I can finally pay these loans off mm-hmm because anything before then just working as a teacher and just what I was making every two weeks after Texas, that those loans were not getting touched every now and then it was like, man, I'm gonna make this minimum payment this month. All right. Cool. But then it's like, ah, something came up with my car mm-hmm or, or, you know, something just mm-hmm . Cause I I've never been a person, a splurge on big name brands or anything, but it was just seeming so impossible at the time, uh, off of just my teaching salary to tackle the debt that I had.

Dee-1 (00:15:41): And I actually learned, uh, a lot of principle, a lot of mistakes that I even made when taking out loans and the amount that I took out compared to the, the session that I went into and the starting salary, you know, and it was just, it, it, it was things that I've like, oh, I've learned this so that I can better inform, um, the next person coming up. Yep. You know, so, yep. Yeah. The, the record deal definitely gave me an opportunity. It was like ID, you signed this record deal. RCA records, big, big company, right. Mm-hmm one of the biggest labels in the world. Mm-hmm do you go and buy Buku jewelry and, and be like a rapper, you know, with, with flossing, your ice, do you go and buy a new car or new cars, you know, and, and super expensive cars, you know what I mean?

Dee-1 (00:16:26): Um, or do you stay driving your 1998 Honda accord that I had at the time? Mm-hmm um, do you keep that, uh, do you go and, uh, and just all of a sudden start, like wearing Christian Dior and Prada and, and, and, and, and Gucci this and, and everything, or do you say, Hey, um, I can use a chunk of this to pay off all those student loans, all that interest that I'm starting to accrue, like that can be, be debt free. Yeah. Be debt free. Mm-hmm and that's what I chose to do. And when I did it, it felt, it felt better than I would've felt if I'd a, went to the car lot and bought, you know, a, a brand new, uh, uh, just high price car for myself that, that

Daphné Vanessa (00:17:12): Loses value. By the way, the, the day you drive off

Dee-1 (00:17:14): The lot. Yeah. Depreciation, ladies and gentlemen, there you go. And, and people, you know, I'm glad you said that because I feel the same way about cars nowadays. You know, you have the people that'll try to butt in and say, no, but now you can turn that car into something profitable by putting it on tour or things like that. There was no Toro when I signed my deal, you know what I mean? Like, yeah. This what, as in last year that I signed my deal, mm-hmm so, uh, for me, it's like, yeah, do I get a car that's gonna depreciate. As soon as I buy off the lot. And it was like, whatever that feeling would've felt like I I've been in other people's cars, uh, Manny fresh. She's a legendary producer from new Orleans. Uh, I remember the first time he let me drive one of his super expensive cars. We were in Houston. We were at the studio. Mm-hmm, recording a song together. And in the middle of the recording session, something came up, he had to leave. So he got picked up and I was like, well, how you want me to get back? Cause I was crashing by his house. And he was like, oh, just

Dee-1 (00:18:05): Take the car. Here's the keys.

Dee-1 (00:18:07): And, and

Daphné Vanessa (00:18:08): For, I give you his, I'm gonna walk

Dee-1 (00:18:10): Away at this moment time. And,

Dee-1 (00:18:11): And, and my heart started beating so fast and I had my partner with me and, and I remember after the recording session ended, we are in the car and we are on the highway in Houston. And I promise you, I'm going 35 miles per hour on the interstate

Dee-1 (00:18:25): Going so slow. Cuz it's raining that

Dee-1 (00:18:27): Night. And, and I'm just like, bro, this car worth more than my life right now. Like

Dee-1 (00:18:32): For real, like I cannot.

Dee-1 (00:18:33): And then next thing you know, we in Houston and mm-hmm , you know, they, they whole culture out there is they have this thing called, swinging, right? Mm-hmm to where people are swinging on the interstate, meaning they're driving and they're swerving. You know what I mean? and somebody, I look in the

Dee-1 (00:18:48): Freaking rear mirror and somebody is behind

Dee-1 (00:18:51): Me and they are swinging on the interstate approaching us. And they're like

Dee-1 (00:18:55): Moving lane to lane. I'm like, what the heck am I supposed to do right now? Like John street drive. I'm so scared. Yeah. I was like, please, bro,

Dee-1 (00:19:02): Don't hit this man's car. That's so funny. So I was like, I, I felt that feeling of driving those type of cars, you know, I, um, I've, I've felt the feeling of, okay, I see this nice watch or I see this nice chain or whatever. None of that felt better than getting that final email. When I had the last of all of my loans paid off,

Dee-1 (00:19:23): Nothing felt better than that. And when I, when I accomplished that and when I felt so great about that, I, I wanted to throw a party mm-hmm I wanted to throw a party and I was like, I don't know if people can relate to this feeling. No, cause everybody, I know they still paying them off. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yep. Um, so I was like, I don't wanna seem like I'm bragging mm-hmm so let me make a song about it. Mm-hmm you know, because that way the people who, I don't personally know mm-hmm who have paid it off, they'll be able to relate to the song. Yes. And I can shape the song to where it's not just bragging about it, but it's actually, you know, putting in educational tidbits mm-hmm uh, in, into the song so that, uh, people can say, Hey, this is an Anthem for me. Yes. That I'm looking forward to that day when I can feel like D and say, I paid all my loans off.

Daphné Vanessa (00:20:09): I'm telling you, I, I love that. And it, and what did you think, first of all, I have a question. Quick question about the video. There is one other guy that has the I finish shirt in your music video. Did he also pay off his student loans?

Dee-1 (00:20:20): The dude who had the I finish shirt. Cause

Daphné Vanessa (00:20:22): There's you and there's the other guy there? Two guys,

Dee-1 (00:20:24): Right? No, he

Dee-1 (00:20:26): Just, he was like, D I like that shirt. That's a, that's a great cousin. He was just like, D I like that shirt. I didn't pay him all the, yeah.

Dee-1 (00:20:33): But I wanna channel

Dee-1 (00:20:33): That energy. So let me weigh it,

Daphné Vanessa (00:20:35): Speak it into existence. Okay. I'm fine. I'm fine with it. Yeah. I just, we had a bet, so I lost, but anyway, I lost, I lost it's okay. It's okay. We lose so time. It's fine. Um, but okay, cool. I love that. I love that it's an Anthem, but I also think it's inspirational because when I heard that song, um, and it was, it came out before we started this podcast. I wanted it to be the intro to our podcast. Mm. Like, to me, I heard that song and I was like, that's exactly how I want to inspire people to pay off their student. I don't want there to be student loan debt. That's that's why we started a whole company getting rid of it. Like, I don't think it should exist. I think it's holding back society for sure. Right. People aren't getting married. They're not having kids. They're not doing basic things that further our economy.

Dee-1 (00:21:18): Yeah. That's very real.

Daphné Vanessa (00:21:19): So, I mean, I think it's an Anthem.

Dee-1 (00:21:21): Yeah. Yeah. It is definitely an Anthem. Uh, the, the Washington post called it, uh, the Anthem of a generation mm-hmm I remember seeing that then it was the Washington post. Then it was time magazine picked it up. Then it was CNN. It brought me in, in Atlanta to do a segment on it. Then it was the real, the daytime talk show that brought me in to talk about it. And, uh, then it was Forbes that did an article on it. And when I started seeing that, um, that, that everyone viewed it as an Anthem mm-hmm ironically, except for my record label, what my record label hated that song.

Daphné Vanessa (00:21:56): What?

Dee-1 (00:21:57): Yeah. They, uh, they didn't, they didn't wanna push it. They did not wanna push it. So the story about that song is that, um, it never, it never really came out as an no fish or single mm-hmm when I was signed to the record label because they refused to push it. Wow. So the only reason they saw the light of day is that, um, I shot a video with my own money mm-hmm um, in new Orleans mm-hmm to the song and we put it out on YouTube, not on the streaming platforms, it was never on the streaming platforms. Uh, we put it out on YouTube as like a, uh, emotional use, only just a content type of video. And it blew up there and it stayed there. Now, by the time the record label saw it blow up there and they wanted to, oh, Hey, we, you know, we want to get behind the song.

Dee-1 (00:22:42): Now we want to help push it. First of all, I'm feeling like, you know, y'all the same people who literally just with me, this song was, was corny and y'all didn't wanna push it. So now y'all wanna push it. Mm-hmm I was okay with, uh, you know what, I'm not gonna let my pride, um, block my own blessing. What do y'all wanna do to push it? You know, that's what I asked them. I flew to New York sat at, at the same round table that I sat at when I played it for, I flew back mm-hmm and sat there. And I was like, cool, what's the plan to push because all of this traction that the song is getting, this is happening organically right now. Mm-hmm , you know, this is, this is about the grace of God. Yeah. That this is happening. Um, what can y'all do to enhance it?

Dee-1 (00:23:19): Cause I kind of don't even need y'all push at this point. Ali's opportunities are, are opening up organically. What's up mm-hmm they didn't really have a plan to push it. They didn't have budget to push it. They didn't, they didn't have anything. So I was like, nah, we'll just keep it as like a, a, just a for promotional use, only type of song. And then what I did was when I, uh, when I got out of my record deal, um, which I, I couldn't wait to get back independent and it still took me about two years after that song came out to fully get outta my record deal. Mm-hmm , um, one, two, a little more than two years mm-hmm . And, um, once that happened, then now that I, you know, owned the song and it, and it never got uploaded on streaming platforms able to upload it. Um, got it. So it is on Spotify. It is on apple music now, but I own it love

Daphné Vanessa (00:24:10): That because you deserve to own it for sure. Especially if they, anyways, we don't want to speak poorly of our employers, so

Dee-1 (00:24:18): Yeah. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (00:24:19): We'll keep moving. Sorry. We'll keep moving. Yeah. Um, so you swallowed your pride and went back and still had a conversation with them. Mm-hmm a lot of people wouldn't do

Dee-1 (00:24:31): That. Yeah. This, uh, this idea of, of us hating our employers, you know, um, is something that, uh, I've never, I've never hated, you know, mm-hmm, anyone that I've worked for. And technically as an artist, uh, when you're assigned to a label, they are your employer and you work for them. Mm-hmm . So if anything, I had a, I had like a, a team oriented attitude mm-hmm about, about stuff. Um, and I did go and have the conversation with them, but I also got to the point where I had to respect, uh, I had to respect myself enough to know that, uh, as an employer, uh, you should have a mutual interest in wanting to see me, um, uh, be able to maximize my gift professional growth. And I found out something that they don't know that I knew this, and I've spoken on this at feel my concerts around the country, but I've never said it on a public platform.

Dee-1 (00:25:30): Uh, I was supposed to be on Jimmy Fallon performing that, uh, that song and the record label blocked that opportunity while all this was going on, they blocked it because the other big opportunities that were coming up, these outlets were reaching directly to my team. Mm-hmm right. So we were facilitating those opportunities for some reason, Jimmy Fallon's, uh, people reached out through the record label to like, get to me, have it probably, and because the record label wasn't. Yeah. And, and I'm sure that, you know, that's, they're used to doing it things that way. And because the record label wasn't really, um, in support of that song at the time they, uh, they, they blocked that out opportunity and they said, no, so, you know,

Daphné Vanessa (00:26:10): You are a forgiving person. Let me tell you.

Dee-1 (00:26:13): Yeah. I mean, yeah. You know, I'm, I'm a, I'm blessed by the best. So at the end of the day, it's just kind of like, you hear stuff like that, but then you look around and you see your life that you're living. And it's like, man, I'm, I'm, I'm so blessed that like, y'all thought y'all got over on me by blocking that opportunity, which y'all don't know is man, the way my life and my blessings are set up, God was probably like, bet D because you didn't go crazy and go with a baseball bat and, and, and, and, and breaking windows over there. I got, I got 10 times as many blessings for you. You know what I mean? So I'm cool.

Daphné Vanessa (00:26:44): Love that. Yeah. Love that. Um, what, let's talk about your future, right? So you paid off your student loans through the record label, and you just have an album that, that dropped. Yes. Um, you have some really inspirational music on that as well. Yes. Talk to us about that.

Dee-1 (00:26:59): So the album is called finding balance. Mm-hmm, , uh, it's the highest debuting album of my career on the charts that debuted at number four in the world, on the apple music, iTunes charts for hip hop. So independent, a hundred percent independent. I own my own record label at this point, it's called mission vision music. So that, that came out. I just started the first leg of the tour. So been around the country, so great. Like kind of like post, not post COVID, cuz COVID still exists. Mm-hmm but since the, the height of COVID mm-hmm first time getting back on tour in various cities, amazing feeling, just reconnecting with the fans. Um,

Daphné Vanessa (00:27:37): I'm sure people missed

Dee-1 (00:27:37): You. Oh gosh. I missed them even more straight up. Um, so that's been great. um, I, I definitely put a song on this album specifically dedicated to, um, to my, my, my passion for advocating for financial literacy. So this song is called residual mm-hmm because I think that we are in a space now where, um, so many people are bridging earth gap simply because they're getting turned onto the, uh, the, the outlets of passive income and how to tap into making residual money, uh, through investments, you know, uh, myself included. So I was like, yo, let me make a song on the album that talks about how, you know, I don't, I don't spend my, my life working for these dead presidents. You know, they work for me now, you know, so I put all, I put all of 'em to work, you know, when I'm sleeping at night, when I'm enjoying my time in Miami and catching some Zs, that money is working for me, you know, via my investments.

Dee-1 (00:28:38): And I talk about, uh, I talk about that on the song residuals. So that's, um, yeah, that's out on album finding balance mm-hmm and it's really just the beginning because I, uh, I've embraced my roots as a teacher. I've embraced my passion as a rapper and, and been expanding like how to do both of those moving forward, you know? Um, so I have, I have some really cool announcements to, to make really soon that I will be, um, that I will be like launching or things. I would be launching what I'll be doing. I just actually launched my first, uh, official podcast starting today. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (00:29:16): Oh,

Dee-1 (00:29:16): Congratulations. Literally. So where,

Daphné Vanessa (00:29:18): Where can we find your podcast

Dee-1 (00:29:19): Everywhere at the same place they find yours? I'm sure. You know what I mean? Like everywhere, um, uh, apple, uh, Spotify, uh, uh, YouTube. And

Daphné Vanessa (00:29:27): What's

Dee-1 (00:29:28): It called? It's called mission vision with D one mm-hmm . Yep. Mission, vision with D one, cause mission, vision is a lifestyle mm-hmm , you know, and part of that lifestyle is how to manage your money. Mm-hmm part of that lifestyle is how to have healthy relationships, friendships. Um, part of that lifestyle is how to tap into what your purpose is, your God given purpose. Yep. You know, so all of these things comprise what I call mission vision, and that's what the podcast is all about. Um, it feels really good to have an outlet other than just having to cuz cuz rapping can be limiting. So sometimes cause it's like, Hey, you only get so many bars in a song and everything has to rhyme.

Daphné Vanessa (00:30:05): And the audience is only so big also. Right.

Dee-1 (00:30:08): There you go. There you go. Not everybody is trying. There you go. I may have a, a 50 year old man or a woman that's like D one. I love what you stand for, man. You so wise so intelligent, but I just don't really no offense

Daphné Vanessa (00:30:20): To you. Like my 75 of year old dad.

Dee-1 (00:30:22): Yes. Yes. I'm not just getting in the car, pressing play and wanting to hear trap beats and, and, and then listen to your music, you know, and your message amid all that for some people mm-hmm, that aesthetic isn't right for them. But the podcasting aesthetic uh, is more of their speed mm-hmm

Daphné Vanessa (00:30:37): Absolutely. And I love what I love about our podcast listeners is that we have like a real relationship with them for real. So people like reach out to us, hang out with us, meet for real. Yes that's so I, what I love, I think I, I have friends that are Instagram influencers and I haven't heard the same level of engagement yeah. From their audience, but our audience, the student loan podcast, you guys are awesome. Um, we, we meet up together. We hang out like you have a real really relationship with your listeners.

Dee-1 (00:31:03): That is so cool. You, you have a real relationship with your listeners because you choose to, I'm sure there's other people right. With, with that same opportunity because they have successful podcasts, but they don't choose to, or they feel like, oh, that's that's too much. Or that's, that's weird. So, you know, kudos to you because that's not something that you have to do because is also a lot of, um, uh, a lot of weirdos in this world, you

Daphné Vanessa (00:31:26): Know? That's true.

Dee-1 (00:31:27): Yeah. That's true. So shout out to you for, I guess having a discernment to, to know like, Hey, uh, it is cool to go a step deeper in the engagement with, with these listeners and whatnot. Um mm-hmm but that is, yeah, that is, that is awesome. And that's what, that's what serving leadership all about. I think, uh, being a, being a leader, having, having this platform that people are attracted to mm-hmm, just the fact that our life experiences, you know, for me paying my student loans off, I didn't realize how rare that made me amongst my peer group at the time. Yes. I did not realize it until, you know, so here's another exclusive of kind of like story or tidbit of info. Um, I wasn't gonna make Sally made back into a song mm-hmm it started out as a freestyle and what I mean by freestyle, it was a verse that I wrote that I would perform as an acapella in the midst of my concerts.

Dee-1 (00:32:20): So I'm on tour around the country. And after I do a couple of my songs, I kind of do this interlude of sorts where I'm, I'm just rapping this, uh, this, this freestyle of sorts. And every time I would do the, the segment that talked about paying my student loans off and how good that felt. And I would do the, you know, I don't drive a may back, but I finished paying Sally made back da, da, da mm-hmm . I would get a standing ovation. Yes. That bar, literally that bar would get a standing ovation each night. And I was like, whoa, like this, this has people like so happy for me and proud of me. When I, when I speak about the joy, I felt paying those loans off mm-hmm . And I was like, I, I thought of an old JayZ, uh, line JayZ said, um, uh, this one, he was beefing with NAS and NAS is my favorite rapper.

Dee-1 (00:33:08): So I used to hate JayZ back then. But um, he said, uh, yeah, I sampled your voice. You were using it wrong. You made it a hot line. I made it a hot song. Right. And NAS had a NAS had a line, uh, that, that said I'm out for presidents to represent me good money. I'm out for presidents to represent me. I remember that Jay-Z took that line and made it into a song called dead presidents. Yes. And so, so many more people know Jay-Z's song, dead presidents than people who know that one line than NAS said. And when he said that, I was like, yo, I need to do that with this right here. This bar about paying Sally Mayback. Wow. This bar, like, I'm not gonna just have it be a hotline. I'm gonna make it a entire hot song,

Daphné Vanessa (00:33:54): Diamond

Dee-1 (00:33:55): Drop the mic. Whoa.

Daphné Vanessa (00:33:57): And this episode is over now. Um, no that that's, that applies to so many different areas. Right? Because you can have, you can be good at one thing. Mm-hmm you could stay in your lane or you can see how it can become something bigger.

Dee-1 (00:34:13): There you are. Yep. Yep.

Daphné Vanessa (00:34:14): And you did that with music. Yep. But our listeners can do that with their careers. Yes. They can do it with their are studies. They can do it with any sort of business ideas that there are so many other ways that you can apply that same idea.

Dee-1 (00:34:27): How bad do you want? It is what I would ask you. Who's watching this. Like how bad do you want it? Because, uh, you have to ask yourself questions. Like, what am I willing to sacrifice in order to get what I say? I want, Ooh, I'm no longer attracted to just people saying, well, what they want, what they want, what they want. My, my rebuttal every time is what are you willing to sacrifice in order to get what you want? Because that is what I have to look back on my journey and say that, uh, I had to, I, yeah, definitely. Like I, I had to, I had to sacrifice, uh, a lot of tangible, uh, pleasures of this world or a lot of, uh, a lot of things that people may say, Hey, uh, you shouldn't be depriving yourself of this. Like you just graduated college. You deserve to buy yourself a new car. Why? You know what I mean? Like, like

Daphné Vanessa (00:35:14): For you. Exactly. Yeah. Does it make you feel better? If I have a new car? Yeah. You should pay my car. Exactly.

Dee-1 (00:35:19): You should pay for my car. Exactly. Like, like, oh, you're not going to the club tonight. Everybody's gonna be there. Everybody is not gonna be there cuz I'm not gonna be there. So everybody not gonna be there. And I'm cool because I'm not just upstanding from, from these certain things, uh, just to suffer. No, I have a purpose for when I'm not at that club, those four hours, I'm gonna be writing a song. That's gonna change my life in those four hours. Um, that card that I'm not buying and that extra 25, $30,000, $40,000, whatever, once you finish paying the interest on it, like that's saying money is gonna be used to fund my studio time and to fund travel expenses, to be able to go around this country and make relationships that are then going to be like perpetually, like just adding value to my life forever.

Dee-1 (00:36:05): You know, that's, that's what it is. It's like, what are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? And, and is this something that your fire is gonna burn out because your fire won't burn out. If this is something that you truly are doing because you are passionate about it. But so many people have tricked themselves into thinking they're passionate about something. Mm-hmm, just because a person told them, you should be this, you know, you, you should, you should do this with your life. Or you're. I think you're good at this. And we are often like seeking validation so much that the first person that tells us something, oh wait, what you said, I'm good at this. Mm-hmm wait, you said I should do this. Okay, cool. And we we'll find ourself on a life mission chasing something that somebody told us when we were 12 years old, that we should do this.

Dee-1 (00:36:53): And it's like, now you in your twenties and thirties, and it's like, are you chasing this? Because us of that person, you know? And, and like, we just have to, I believe in quiet time, I believe in having a sober mind, I don't drink, I don't smoke. You know what I'm saying? Mm-hmm, like, I like to be in my right mind and understand, uh, all of the different emotions that come along with life, all of the different highs, the different lows, and to be able to put experiences into context, because that way I can always account for the why behind why I am doing this. Mm-hmm , it's so many times Daphne that I'm sitting back, either writing a rap or preparing for a concert or doing a press run or ordering merchandise to go on tour with or en route from one show to the next that AITs doing that I'll have one of those moments like, man, you better be lucky. You love doing this de because if not, the, this is not the sexy part that I'm doing right now. You know what I'm saying? It ain't sexy, folding up hoodies that you're about to, you know, the inboxes to bring on the road with you to, to sell at your concerts. Yep. It's not all of these parts that like, it is not sexy when you're sitting here and you stuck on, what's going rhyme with Daphne that I could put in this, you know,

Daphné Vanessa (00:38:13): Daphne, please put my name in. I'm be so happy. I'm

Dee-1 (00:38:16): Like, we're rhymes with that. And I'm sitting here stuck and, and I'm like, that would be awesome. This ain't the sexy part of this. No it's of this, uh, profession, but that's where it's like, man, I'm so happy that I love this because I love even the non-sex posts about it. You know?

Daphné Vanessa (00:38:30): That's how you know, so. Okay. Tell, so that's, that's a really good point. Walking through separating what you think your passion is from what it actually is. What, uh, methodology did you use to come up with it?

Dee-1 (00:38:43): All right. Number one. Uh, am I willing to do this for free? Mm. Do I still get joy out of it when I'm doing it for free, straight up. So am I willing to do it for free? And I get joy cuz you can be willing to do something, but that doesn't mean you're still getting joy out of it. So I was like, am I getting joy out of this? I was getting so much joy outta rapping for free that I almost forgot that you're supposed to get paid. I was just every time I put on a new mix tape out. Oh yeah. Let's put it up on the website for free though. I don't want charge people. Like, let's just, I just wanted to down it and just enjoy it. Me why they like, you know, that's why they made iTunes. Right? Like you can put it there and monetize.

Dee-1 (00:39:20): Nah, I don't want charge people. I just want 'em to have it. Oh my gosh. I was like, yo I, and then I had to come to my senses. Like mm-hmm yo bro. It's okay to love it, but it's okay to make money. No, it is. Yeah. Like it is okay to make money. Um, so that's, that's one thing that's part of my methodology. Um, I, uh, secondly, to figure out, uh, if it's something that I'm truly passionate about, um, I ask myself, do I have an internal desire to want to be great at this? As opposed to just doing enough to get by mm-hmm when I worked at McDonald's flipping McGriddles in the morning, I did not care about being the best McGriddle flipper in the city of new Orleans. You know what I'm saying? I was just like, man, I'm not gonna mess these people food up. I don't want poisoning anybody. I'm gonna do enough to get by mm-hmm work. Start at four 30 in the morning for me. Um, I'm gonna get that at 4 29. You know what I'm saying? Like in the morning, bam, like work

Daphné Vanessa (00:40:12): Start at four 30.

Dee-1 (00:40:13): Yeah. I, I worked the morning shift. This was uh, the summer before I started, so oh wow. I had two jobs. I used to work at McDonald's and at a, uh, a store called circuit city mm-hmm yeah, it was kind of like, uh, a competitor best buy mm-hmm yeah. So, uh, they lost the competition, but uh cause I don't think circuit city is around no more. Uh,

Daphné Vanessa (00:40:32): Yeah. I haven't seen one since

Dee-1 (00:40:33): Mississippi, so, but yeah, I used to, so I used to work from four 30 in the morning to 1:00 PM, um, at McDonald's and then I would get a ride from a, uh, I think my girlfriend's sister. No, no. I used to catch the bus. Yeah. From McDonald's to the other part of town mm-hmm and work ater city from 2:00 PM to nine, 9:00 PM. And I did that for the whole summer. And that was so,

Daphné Vanessa (00:40:56): So you have incredible work at ethic.

Dee-1 (00:40:58): Yeah. Incredible work ethic, but I didn't have a desire to be great at either one of those jobs. It was literally about I'm doing this to save up as much money as possible for college so I could get a car, you know, mm-hmm , that's what it was all about. Um, um, when it came to understanding what my, what my, my passion was though, I was like, I legit want to be the best or this that I can possibly be. You know, mm-hmm and I have a passion for wanting to figure out how to make my next album better than my last album. Mm-hmm and how to make this next performance a little better than the last performance that, that internal desire to want to be your greatest at what you're doing that lets you know that, Hey, this is something you're really passionate about.

Dee-1 (00:41:38): No, for sure. So tho those are my top two things. Let me see if I got a third one. Cause I like, I like threes, you know, be real, be righteous, be relevant. I like threes. You know what I mean? Um, third thing to, to truly know if I'm passionate about something. Um mm yeah. Yeah. Definitely being willing to take the narrow road and not follow the, the easy route that it seems other people are taking in what you do. Right. So for me, I knew that I wasn't just passionate about the success of this because so, so many people told me, bro, you trying to be successful as a rapper, you from new Orleans man, just rap about, you know, murder, honestly, rap about the streets. Like you come from the streets, you know what I mean? This is, you know, this is what you grew up around rap about that.

Dee-1 (00:42:27): Or you could be Chris brown with dreads, just rap about, you know, just rap about all these girls and all this stuff. And people telling me like this lane is wide open. If you, if you want to take that route, you know, and for me, I was like, no, I'm like really passionate about this specific art form because that doesn't take any effort. Anybody could rhyme, you know, uh, gun with fun with, to, with sun. And, and I was like, I don't wanna do that. Uh, I wanna actually put thought into this craft and I want to give people like a message in, in what I'm saying, but I wanna make it so creative and so charismatic that the message is wrapped up in such like entertainment value in such a dope package that people still flock to wanna consume this message. You know what I mean?

Dee-1 (00:43:14): I wanna be the rapper to where they say nobody from new Orleans has ever, uh, made it, you know, as, as an artist, as a rapper who is glorifying, guarding their music, who isn't cursing their music, who's glorifying being college educated, da da mm-hmm nobody's ever done it before. So basically I'm trying to say stay away from it. Cuz that lane doesn't even exist from down here. And I was like, no, I want to be the one. I love that straight up. So that lets you know, if you're willing to take the narrow road, if you're willing to carve out your own lane, mm-hmm , you know, there's other podcast that talk about financial literacy or student loan debt and whatnot. But if you're like, no, we are not gonna just try to say, oh well if they're doing that, let's be just like them.

Dee-1 (00:43:55): And we could take some of their market share and, and just be like a branch off from them. It's like, no, if, if there's McDonald's then cool, I'm not gonna make McDonald's. You know what I'm saying? I, I, I'm not gonna make McDonald's, you know what I'm saying? I'm gonna be Chick-fil-A mm-hmm and say, cool. We might be in the same industry by and large, but I clearly have my own niche that I clothes on Sundays. Yeah. And the desire to do that and to actually build something from scratch, that's gonna take more effort. You gotta be passionate about something to, um, to, to do that. Like that's salute to people who, um, when they buy houses, when they are passionate enough to say like, Hey, I'm down to build this from, from the ground up. It's gonna take a long time. You know what I mean? Oh yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (00:44:43): I watch those videos.

Dee-1 (00:44:44): Yeah. Like the people who are down to do that, as opposed to the people who say, man, I'm just ready to live somewhere different tomorrow. So let's just find a house that exists already that I like. And we gonna go on and buy that. That's me. I'm I'm I'm the second one. I'm the second one. I'm like, man, I was ready to get a, uh, to get a crib look. I just, I ain't got no eight months, six months. Yeah. To

Daphné Vanessa (00:45:08): Wood. I like, yeah.

Dee-1 (00:45:09): Yeah. Like I straight man, I want, I want me a crib, uh, tomorrow. And mm-hmm that? That was, but that's because I wasn't, I, I, I wouldn't consider that a passion of mine. Yep. To, yeah. To, to have seen that whole process through the completion. Mm-hmm and that's okay to be able to distinguish what you're extremely passionate about versus what you're just in it for the end result.

Daphné Vanessa (00:45:32): I love that. I love that. I, I mean, honestly, we could do a whole class right now for real like

Dee-1 (00:45:40): Whole master class.

Daphné Vanessa (00:45:41): It's a master class. This is a special episode. Um, the, you, you talk about the passion, you spoke about making sure that it's something that you would do for free making sure that you have your own lane. Um, those, just those two qualities by themselves. I think it reminds you that your passion is something that you're almost not the it's almost subconscious, right? Mm. You know that this is something that you are meant to do. Mm. Talk to the people in the audience that know what they're meant to do, but are not doing that so that they can pay the bills, pay off their student loans, whatever.

Dee-1 (00:46:16): Yeah. Well, I can't put all of y'all in the same category. Mm. So I don't wanna say that I'm, um, that, I'm sorry for you because some people are willingly, you know, not, not doing what they love mm-hmm because, uh, it may be fear that that they're, you know, that they're dealing with. So for those of you who are dealing with fear, um, I can understand, uh, where that comes from because, uh, I struggle with, you know, dealing with fear as well. And sometimes it's the fear of being everything that you were called to be. And it's the fact that that's gonna require more of you, you know, and just because we are doing well in life doesn't mean that we are doing our best in life. And we have to ask ourselves, um, is that fear, uh, something that we want to allow it, to prevent us from doing our best in life.

Dee-1 (00:47:07): You know, uh, for me, I'm in a stage in my life to where I don't want that fear to prevent me from, uh, having my best in, in any aspect of my life. So now it's, uh, working to figure out how to overcome that fear. Um, and that takes intentional effort. That takes consistency, that takes, uh, prayer. And that, that just takes like a lot of work. You gotta shut up and grind. You know, you, you can't make excuses, cuz the fear is what will produce the excuses. And the fear will put the excuses right on your lap to where it's like, here you go. Here's all the excuses. All you gotta do is just pick which one you want to, uh, you know, use today. Here are the excuse. Here's the excuse. So I know that that's so of y'all um, with some of y'all it's like, yo there's literally no fear.

Dee-1 (00:47:52): It's just the circumstance that I'm in, in life right now. Mm-hmm I have kids, uh, I have, uh, I have a family that, you know, depends on me. So I can't just jump away from this, this stable salary that I'm making mm-hmm to pursue something that won't be making any from day one mm-hmm , but that I have to take time to build up mm-hmm um, you know, so when it's not fear that you're dealing with, uh, when the circumstances, uh, circumstances require strategy, you know, mm-hmm fear requires courage, circumstances require strategy. Wow. Yeah. So that strategy right there is something to where there are professionals. There are people, you know, um, you're looking at two of them right here who, who literally can say, Hey, this is what we do. We specialize at at bringing strategies to the table, uh, bringing solutions to the table that can overcome the circumstances that you're dealing with right now.

Dee-1 (00:48:45): So that is, uh, really important to know that you not inadequate, if you don't have all the answers on your own, as far as maybe the strategy maybe you, you, you have an idea, but you're not sure about certain aspects of things, uh, tap into a professional, you know, tap into a person, uh, like currently, uh, there's areas in my life to where I was like, Hmm, I know what I want. Mm-hmm and I know I'm at mm-hmm and somewhere along the way, there's something that I don't all the way get. Right. Mm-hmm . And so I started going to therapy, you know, uh, because in these certain, uh, in these certain, uh, I would say, uh, aspects or categories of life I have I've said, you know what, let me see if, uh, if a therapist, uh, a professional can help to mm-hmm unclog, you know, that, uh, that, uh, that, that, that clot that I feel right here, or just that, uh, that, that level of cloudness.

Dee-1 (00:49:43): So, you know, I'm practicing what I preach, you know, I'm just telling people that, that, um, yeah, like we, we all have all have a unique, you know, situation as to what may be preventing us from getting where we want to get. And, uh, I mean, honestly, if you are watching this right now, I feel like you at least care enough about either student loans or your student loan journey, or just, you know, forward progress in life to where you are already proving that if you're watching, if you're listening to this, you're proving that you want to make progress. And, and it's like, progress is a thing that we have to, uh, that we have to commit to as part of a lifestyle. And, and, and that's all like, if you, you don't commit to this, then what are you committing to? Are you committing to complacency? Mm. You know?

Daphné Vanessa (00:50:34): Wow. I'm so powerful. Um, I think you're talking about growth. You're talking about finding those people that can help you get there. Uh, what about your routines specifically your morning routine? this is a sounds like you're probably everybody asks this question for all your interviews, but from a financial literacy perspective, what routine do you think you ha did you have in place that helped you get to the point where when you paid off the lump sum, you were in a good, and then secondly, what's your warning routine today to keep you grounded, to keep you in a place where you're open to hearing from God, where what's your routine today?

Dee-1 (00:51:17): So the question as to the, the routine back then, that helped to get me in a, uh, in a place where, where I was focusing on the right things in the morning is that, uh, honestly I didn't go to Starbucks every day. Mm-hmm I legit got to the point where I was like, dang, 30 days, times, you know, six or $7 a day. I'm like, man, that's $200 a month. Like, and I need that, you know? So at that, at that point in life, I'm like, I need that. I can think so many things other than a frappuccino or something like that, that, uh, that's gonna, you know, that's gonna feel good and, and be able to like, help me moving forward financially. Mm-hmm , uh, I was able to be disciplined in the morning mm-hmm and, and legit, you know, if I'm going to eat eating at the, uh, at the crib, you know, before I left to, to go to work mm-hmm , um, um, uh, I got to the point where I realized that, you know, me listening to certain types of music, um, I was like, okay, what is this, what is this impacting me to, to want to do?

Dee-1 (00:52:21): And some of the music, I was like, it's not making me wanna do anything. It's literally just, uh, like pro me to become dumber, you know? And I had to stop listening to that music. It's been hard to stop listening to that music because I grew up my whole life, listening to this stuff, to where you develop an appetite for something that's actually poisonous, you know, uh, you know, to you. And, uh, I got serious though. Uh, I got serious a morning routine, and before I was able to say, I wanna try to cut more and more of this out of my overall life. It was like, at least in the morning, D give a break, bro. Like at least in, I never wanted to be that person pulling up to my job and I gotta turn the music laid down. Cause it's like,

Dee-1 (00:53:05): I'm in here selling dope and killing people in, in this car. Like, that's what I'm doing. And now I'm in front of these kids at school. Let me turn the volume down.

Dee-1 (00:53:12): That's so funny. So I was able to stop, uh, that and, and really, I remember my drives to school being, uh, I'll be by myself and I, I, I could legit, uh, talk to God out loud though, you know? Um, wow. Yeah, out loud and, and talking to God out loud, uh, it felt great. It felt great to get the conversations outta my brain. Mm-hmm , you know, uh, as far as you fast forward to nowadays, so great morning routine for me definitely includes, you know, waking up and before, before I get outta the bed, um, being able to, you know, be heavy in prayer literally while I'm still, uh, while I'm still in the bed. Mm-hmm while I'm, while I'm fresh, off of being thankful, like I, I wake up now and the first thing I say is like, thank you, you know, mm-hmm, that literally that's the first thing I say is, is thank you, cuz I know that I've been blessed to be here for another day.

Dee-1 (00:54:02): Yeah. So with that being said, I set those tensions for the day. Um, you know, after giving things to God, I set those intentions for the day in terms of not even everything that I wanna accomplish, cuz then that feels like work that gets to like looking at a to-do list. But I set the intentions in terms of what energy do I want to carry with me wherever I go in that day with whoever I encounter, what do I want to radiate? You know, what kind the joy do I want to, to radiate. Um, and just constantly thinking about what I want to exude, you know, mm-hmm um, so that's, that's a part of my everyday routine on my best days. Um, cuz I travel a lot. So like it's been great that I'm out here in Miami and where I'm staying at. There's like a, a but juice, right?

Dee-1 (00:54:47): Uh, literally right across the street from where I'm staying. So it's like, I go get me a bowl or like a smoothie or something to, to, you know, in a healthy way, like start out my morning as well. Um, that's when I, when I'm able to, when I'm not traveling and in a place where I'm kind of like, ah, there's nothing really around then, I'm always is looking to start my day off with a smoothie or with an I SI bowl or, or something that's just gonna be nourishing to me. And by the time I do those things, by the time I I've prayed, I've set my intentions for the day mm-hmm and you know, I've consumed something, uh, healthy, you know, I'm, I'm usually I'm good to go.

Daphné Vanessa (00:55:24): I love that. I love that. That is a wonderful morning routine that you can still apply as you're paying off your student loans. Um, but, but it's carried you even into the success that you have

Dee-1 (00:55:34): Today, for sure. For sure. For sure. And then, and the success that I, uh, the success that I have, I always, I always make sure that like, when I think about the student loan journey, that it's not something that I, uh, that I approach with the level of, um, uh, shame about ever having the loans mm-hmm because there were also times where during that journey, I would just, I find myself getting angry mm-hmm and I'm like, you know, thinking about like, oh, I feel like this company, you know, is, is doing me dirty or like, oh, why did I even have to take this long out? Because one of the mistakes I made was I got to a point in college where I was taking out loans to not fund my educational journey, but to fund other business endeavors that I was trying to pop off, you know, and they didn't pop off.

Dee-1 (00:56:25): And I still had the death though. Yeah. And I just remember being, uh, just having a level of shame, uh, at, at various points that would just make me mad and make me angry. And, and I realized that, um, you can't be like that. Uh, your journey is your journey. Yeah. And, and the decisions that we have made already, all we can do is focus on cool. How do we make better wins in the future? But, uh, there's also value in, you know, in, in exposing yourself to a lot of knowledge and a lot of wisdoms so that, uh, for those of us shoot, you might have somebody right now who is really in school and hasn't, and is on fence about if they need to take out certain loans or not. You might have someone who hasn't even started school yet. They're trying to pick which school they're gonna go to. Yep. And I'm telling you, Hey, go to the one. If you're getting a scholarship from one versus not from the other, go to that one with the,

Daphné Vanessa (00:57:19): What is the love of your life? Is that the school math

Dee-1 (00:57:21): Forget home, man. She ain't gonna do not, but, but mess over you. That's what happened to me? Oh no. Oh yeah. She cheated on me. Oh yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (00:57:28): Oh my God. I'm

Dee-1 (00:57:29): So sorry. Oh, what? I'm traumatized,

Speaker 8 (00:57:31): Girl. What you mean? I'm still, I'm still shook. Oh yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (00:57:34): Guys. Let's pray for D one. Yeah. Got positive relationships in this life.

Dee-1 (00:57:38): Yeah. Yo that that's a whole, that's a whole, that's part two of this episode. It would be the whole rundown, but nah, it's cool. It's cool. Without that I wouldn't have started rapping. Um, I started rapping because heartbreak. Yes. Literally heartbreak. Like I definitely. So

Daphné Vanessa (00:57:52): Thank you girl. That cheated on

Dee-1 (00:57:54): D one. Nah, thank you. For real. Like for real, like it's been a lot of lives blessed, you know, by, by D one and by D one's music and a lot of people gonna continue to be blessed. So thank you. And I say that with all due respect, it's it's all love. It's no, it's no beef or anything at this point. Like God works in mysterious ways.

Daphné Vanessa (00:58:12): It really does. And last major point I think, is using something that hurts you so much to bring out the best in you is like almost your story.

Dee-1 (00:58:24): Yes. Yes. That is, that is uh, wow. That, that is what that is. What champions are made of mm-hmm , you know, it's, it's usually it's that it's that setback it's that injury. It's that heartbreak mm-hmm , it's it's that failure, um, that you allowed to fuel you instead of, um, instead of diminish and, and defeat you, you know, that's exactly what I have done. That's what I've continued to do by being an underdog in the rap game, you know? Uh, and are

Daphné Vanessa (00:58:54): You still an

Dee-1 (00:58:55): Underdog? Am I still an underdog? Very much so. Uh, yes, because, because whenever you representing, you know, being real, being righteous and being relevant in the industry that we glorified being wrong, being ratchet and being ridiculous, you know, you always gonna be the underdog, you know, mm-hmm um, for sure, like always, and it's, it's funny when people see you being successful mm-hmm and when they say, well, okay, you're successful, but uh that's because you were special. And my thing is like, I want to empower so many more people to be able to be successful by actually embracing doing the right thing with their, with their talent. Yeah. I, so, so for me, it's not about just me being successful. Mm-hmm like I got a whole classroom full of students that I, I remember just being like, man, I want them to all be able to become successful in life without having to take the easy road or, or, or without having to think that they have to conform to this very narrow view of what cool looks like or, or would be in a black person, you know, comes along with.

Dee-1 (01:00:03): And it's like, I, I, I want that for so many more people. So with that being said, I always have work to do, um, there's gonna impact lives, right. That's why I'm the underdog because a person who is not the underdog once they make it for themselves, they're just like, right. I'm comfortable. I did it. I, I did, I did what I had to do. Like that was, that was easy. I put in the little work I made it. And that's all, this was all about. This is never just all about me. This is all about everybody watching this all about everybody who my music isn't reaching yet, but I got the potential to reach 'em. So I gotta make a song that's a little better, a little doper market, a little harder and, and reach them. Their life literally hangs in the balance. You know what I'm saying?

Daphné Vanessa (01:00:44): You are literally doing the work of Jesus.

Dee-1 (01:00:47): Thank you. That's shoot. I, I wouldn't have any other way.

Daphné Vanessa (01:00:51): I'm I think that is a beautiful way to wrap up this amazing episode. Do you have any words of advice for the audience? Words of encouragement before we wrap up,

Dee-1 (01:01:05): If y'all didn't get any advice or encouragement in this last hour, then

Dee-1 (01:01:09): You need to press rewind and you need to, you must have been busy texting or something. Cause

Dee-1 (01:01:14): We done put a lot out, take notes. Yeah. Like straight up, just like I wear on my chest though. Be real, be righteous and be relevant in everything you do. Um, be real, be righteous and be relevant. Live your life with mission, vision, understanding that you do have a purpose and it's all about just having the vision to manifest that purpose and make it come true. Um, I'm here to help you on your journey, uh, as is Daphne and you know, this isn't gonna stop, uh, I'm D one, uh, all of the, all of the, all of the work that I do, that's out there on in that, um, you know, it's all meant to serve you to be honest with you. So just enjoy you're heard me go dig in.

Daphné Vanessa (01:01:49): Yes, yes. And where can our lovely listeners find you engage with you? Where can we connect?

Dee-1 (01:01:56): Sure. So on our social media platforms is D one music, D E the number one music. That's Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, uh, even my YouTube channel D one music. Um, I now have my podcast, the mission vision podcast with D one on all podcasts and platforms. Go check that out. The first episode just dropped today, literally. Yeah. Um, super excited about that. Uh, just randomly thinking today, my mama's birthday mama. Happy

Dee-1 (01:02:23): Birthday to you. Happy. I already text

Dee-1 (01:02:25): You mama, but I'm a, you know, and I know, yeah, my I'm gonna send

Dee-1 (01:02:28): You this podcast just so you can hear the shout out. I gave you, you heard me just so you know, like my baby really love me.

Dee-1 (01:02:34): Y'all love you mom. So, uh, big shout out to, to her and, um, and everywhere on all streaming platforms for my music is D E E dash one. Just spell my name, right. And go consume the music. And lastly, uh, my website, mission, vision, lifestyle.com. That's where you'll see the apparel. That's where you'll see the upcoming tour dates. That's where you'll see everything else I got going on. And I think that's, uh, about it.

Daphné Vanessa (01:02:59): Yay. Awesome. Well, thank you everyone for listening to another episode of the student loan podcast. For more episode, you know where to go. You go to the student loan podcast.com/the episode number that you are listening to. We loved having D one on, we cannot wait to listen to more of his music. Go check his tours out, go listen to the podcast. I know I'm gonna listen to it literally right after we finish recording. Um, and I can't wait to see you guys next week. Have a good one.

Dee-1 (01:03:28): Peace.

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