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21 Savage talks "breaking cycles of poverty" and undoing racial policies with financial literary

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Until he became a rapper, 21 Savage says he “didn’t even know how to open a bank account.”

Now, he’s on a mission to “break cycles of poverty” in the Black community by encouraging young people with his financial literacy campaign, “Bank Account,” named after his double-platinum single from his Issa Album debut.

“I want the next generation to have a head start and the knowledge on the value of making good financial decisions, so they have a clear path to achieve success and financial security,” 21 said in TIME magazine’s cover project, “The New American Revolution.”

Launched in 2018, the campaign offers access to resources and education about financial literacy, “to help young people facilitate a healthy transition into adulthood.”

But he also understands, “how systemic these issues are” in terms of discriminatory practices such as redlining, which denies individuals “home loans based on race or ethnicity.”

21 advised people to “pay yourself first” and to work with “trusted financial institutions,” such as Juma Ventures, who he previously partnered with to offer a free, at-home online financial education program.

He said, “we need to follow” the lead of fellow “Black pioneers [who] challenged this reality by building small enterprises that supported and employed within their own communities.”

“Building Black-owned businesses is a powerful way to shift the narrative—and sustain wealth in our communities,” 21 adds. 

 By Rachel George
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