‘Wall Street rapper’ Ro$$ Mac helping ‘people who look like us’ gain financial literacy

The South Shore native gives financial advice through Revolt TV’s YouTube series “Maconomics.”

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South Shore native Ro$$ Mac has made multiple appearances as a financial expert on Yahoo Finance, WGCI and The Source. | Kiah Lynn

South Shore native Ro$$ Mac has made multiple appearances as a financial expert on Yahoo Finance, WGCI and The Source.

Kiah Lynn

Ro$$ Mac is a product of his environment — he will tell you as much. 

Going from Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood to the Wharton School — University of Pennsylvania’s world-renowned business school — Mac knew it was going to be a culture shock. 

But he took his experience in the Ivy League as a way to acquire the knowledge he believes his community needs.

Some of Wharton’s alumni include President Donald Trump, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

“Being around kids whose parents are full-blown millionaires and some billionaires, you go as far as what you are exposed to,” Mac said. “One of the biggest things for me is to share what I’ve been exposed to. To help educate people that look like us [black people], because if I travel down a certain path, my brother doesn’t necessarily have to travel down the same path. I could take that life experience from that path to help him on his path and vice versa.”

Through his music, Mac merges education with entertainment — something legendary rapper KRS-One called “Edutainment,” the name of an album by his group Boogie Down Productions.

“When you think about the amount of stuff we learn in school, you know, post- and secondary levels of education, it’s like, you learn so much stuff that you can’t apply to your everyday life,” Mac said. “ … I need to know how buy a home, how to buy a car. I need to know my credit score.”

His education —  and his career trading junk bonds for investment banking giant Morgan Stanley — led him to create a video series on Revolt TV’s YouTube channel called “Maconomics,” where he gives plain advice to people who may not have the avenues needed to receive information about financial freedom.

Topics discussed in the videos include budgeting, raising generational wealth, raising credit scores, and how to buy a house with a 3.5% down payment — something Mac calls “getting to the bag.”

He has made appearances as a financial expert on Yahoo Finance, WGCI, and The Source.

Mac, 30, a Whitney Young Magnet High School alum, said he got the “Maconomics” idea from an episode of “expediTIously,” rapper T.I.’s podcast, about rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z’s billionaire net worth status.

“That was something that resonated with me, but more importantly, one of my little homies hit me up. He’s like, ‘Bro, I know you do these ‘Macanomics” [videos] and all that, but you have to show me in real life,’” Mac said.

“So many things that I take for granted — there’s things that some of my homies were not exposed to. And I just feel as though the way we will really get ahead is if we are smarter about the things. Like when you think about the wealth gap between blacks and whites and Hispanics. … Sometimes, you just got to change that entire mindset about financial literacy.”

“Maconomics” has achieved the type of audience engagement Mac thought it would. His video titled “You’re Losing By Not Investing: Investing 101,” has received about 14,000 page views. 

“I’m thinking people are starting to look at me as a person that not only champions financial literacy [but] more importantly, ‘He looks like me, he walks like me, he talks like me,’ ” Mac said. “Not only that, ‘He’s making it very easy for me and he’s not out here selling any ancillary products.’”

And he’s been paying close attention to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy, comparing it to the 2008 financial crisis.

“A lot of businesses are going to go bankrupt and so I think that this impact is going to be worse than 2008,” Mac said. “And as a result, I think this is the best time for a lot of people who’ve never bought stocks or have never invested to actually now start paying attention.”

Through it all, Mac just wants to blend his musical aspirations with making sure people in his community are equipped with the tools to make themselves financially fit. 

“The amount of DMs I get from people all around the world at this point is like, ‘Bro, I really,  really love what you’re doing. We need this for our culture,’ ” Mac said. “Now I just got a community of people that’s really interacting and rocking with everything across the board. The music, the financial advice, everything.”

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