A writer over at Elite Daily expressed in an article “25 Sitting On 25 Mill: Why Rap Culture Is Ruining Our Generation’s Perception of Money,” that a college graduate should be lucky enough to land an unpaid internship. Harsh fact while over in a world far far away, Drake is rolling around in Versace sheets, Future is waking up in his new Bugatti and Rick Ross is preparing to visually remind us of the things we don’t have. Lovely.

As a Hampton University graduate, I truly thought that after crossing over into the “real world,” society would be in the palm of my hands — automatically that is, not in the “Started from the bottom, now I’m here” sense. I was raised with the mentality that attending and finishing college is simply expected of you so although I didn’t treat graduating like some over-the-top profound life moment, I was way more taken aback that all my hard work and $100,000 degree (that I paid for), didn’t come accompanied with a cheat sheet to instant success and a black card.

Like most twenty something year-olds, we walk away from college full of million dollar dreams, optimism and complete confidence that we can jump out into the working world and land safely square in a pile of money.

And then one day, we turn up our radios, browse our favorite rapper’s Instagram and that’s the day our lives change forever. Where is my new Buggatti?

Somewhere along the yellow brick rap road, many of us have become addicted and attached to the image of it all. Why do some feel less accomplished because they can’t afford the new Yeezy’s (which I can happily buy like 100 H&M fall outfits with) or for still remaining loyal to Target sheets? The “get rich quick” culture takes away the simple joys of finding a twenty dollar bill in my pocket, or a metro card that has a remaining balance to get us to two stops.

Subconsciously, many have embraced a skewed perception to reality. It’s all about making fast money and blowing it on things they can’t afford to further pamper their façades and false sense of what success truly is. But who am I to point the finger?

At 24 years-old, I’m probably over here setting these overarching expectations of myself based on someone else’s standard of living. It’s not easy to sleep at night digesting the fact that many rappers, who lack the college degrees we all speak so highly of, are toppling my income. I would be lying if I said I didn’t fumble with dreams of fast luxury but deep down, I know its all BS. We all have our own goals and dreams, and those desires shouldn’t be rooted in someone else’s financial reality. I know now what I can and cannot buy (as I go back to eating my $8 Caesar salad).

As frequently as you see Christian Louboutin pumps hitting the Fifth Ave pavement, there is a girl sacrificing two month’s rent and a student loan payment just to wear them. I’m sure she will one day land in the music video of her dreams, but until then, what’s so wrong with paying rent, girl?

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine who is also this amazing, highly-respected hip hop journalist. After my typical ranting session about my growing disgust for the rap culture, he simply said “your generation cares too much.” In so many ways, that stuck with me — mainly, the fact that we care about perception and keeping up with the Joneses. Some of us have become followers instead of leaders, taking what we see on Big Sean’s Instagram and attempting to replicate it.

The writer over at elitedaily said it best:

“I’m not sure if this “ball so hard muthaf*ckas try to fine me” culture is going to end anytime soon, but the sooner our generation is aware that rappers live a fantasy life that’s not attainable for us commoners, the better. I want to live it up like the rest of them, but we need to realize that those Instagram likes aren’t paying the bills. Let’s have the goal be “25 sitting on $25,000” before we go all crazy. Cool?”

Basically, you don’t live that life. Know the difference.

What do you think, Clutchettes?

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  • SpkKay13

    A law degree no longer guarantees financial success or stability either. I know several LLM graduates who are grasping for straws just like our classmates who opted out of college post high school. Law graduates typically start out with 40k salaries whilst completing briefs and other paperwork for more seasoned lawyers. Compare the aforementioned salary to 300k+ student loan debt. In fact, a large number of law graduates are forced to work short contract jobs (1-6 months) doing document reviews sans benefits, 401k’s, etc. I strongly suggest that people research the cost of these degree programs and the return in regards to gaining employment. Furthermore, POC need to participate in more shadow programs and actually utilize social media to reach out to people in their desired field to learn the truth behind the misconceptions. There are a slew of other fields, in which people of color are underrepresented, that are very lucrative. Speech-Language Pathology (my field), occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc are fields to be considered as well.

  • Seriously, are you delusional?
    How can you be a few years out of an ok college ( I had never heard of Hampton college) that’s not even an Ivy League and have little talent or no family business whatsoever and expect success and a black card upon graduation?? While you were spending time watching those artists on TV, you should have done some research on your school’s aluminis.
    Don’t blame on those successful rappers, they have nothing to do with your failure. If you know them personally most of them work hard and do have some talents. You chose completely different path and you’re responsible for your own life.