Rapper and entrepreneur David Banner is no stranger to the fame game, but instead of flaunting his fortune, he's trying to help other rising stars keep their finances in check.
In a recent column on BlackEnterprise.com, Banner chronicled his own personal money mishaps in order to warn the black community to use their spending power more wisely.
"The proper management of money has proven to be a difficult task for many in the black community," Banner wrote. "The culture of spending within the black community has been one of our greatest economic Achilles heels. Simply put, money isn't staying in our community. ... Another factor is that when members of our community achieve wealth, a dependency often develops between friends, family members and even our neighborhoods on the recipient."
Banner tells The Huffington Post that he believes it is his duty to help educate his community about the pitfalls of wealth and proper money management.
"I made every single mistake in that column and so it was a little rough writing it, but I think that is one of the reasons the column resonated with so many people, because I was able to give actual experiences that I went through," Banner said. "In rap and entertainment, you see a big check but that check doesn’t exist forever and we have to teach the next generation that in order to take home a dollar, you have to make three. My motivation is making so many mistakes. God blessed me to have a third and forth chance."
The reason he is targeting the black community with his advice, he says, is that "it is more specific to black people because we don't have the mentors to teach us about money. Right now we are seeing a lot of the first generation to move into money and we don't have people to offer us guidelines."
Banner detailed his own money mistakes to HuffPost and explained how he would have done things differently if he had a mentor to teach him how to manage his money.
"I did a lot of things under the guise of helping my family early because that is what we are told to do. I think I would have spaced out some of the money that I spent. I wasn’t buying a lot of chains and a lot of cars, but I bought my grandmother a house, bought my mother a car," Banner said.
"I think I would have not paid for everything in cash, and I think I would have put a nice down payment down and paid notes on those things and allowed some of that money to work for me. I am learning that having access to money to make certain business ventures go through is important before you start spending money on luxury items.”
Banner believes educating his community should fall on the entertainers who grew up within it.
"We have been taught to spend and we have been taught to show off and we have been taught to show the finer things in life, and that may be good for you in the short term because people like to see flashy things. The fans like to see big cars and the lifestyle, but we are preparing ourselves for a short-term financial lifestyle,” Banner said.
"I bought a Bentley, and honestly, it was one of the things that makes me the most happy. I love fast cars. I don't think you should have two or three of them. We need to think about and show what can happen once the money runs out."
And if anyone has a beef with his advice, he invites them to take it up with him on Twitter, @TheRealBanner.