Drew is a CPA & Rapper
Drew is the AVP for Finance at LIU, and the founder of The Rapping CPA – a creative content development service for businesses, individuals and organizations. While he loves data analytics, process management, and business strategy, he has a passion for rapping, acting, and overall entertaining in general. Accordingly, he’s developed tons of songs, videos, and content on all topics from accounting to partying. He enjoys boating, house parties, networking events, speaking, performing, history, brainstorming, and sports. Drew is a self-proclaimed polymath and “multipotentialite”.
The Rapping CPA returns to the podcast from episode 84 to talk about how his reputation has followed him through a new job and how he landed a job as a production assistant for a couple of Bon Jovi’s music videos!
• Rebranding to The Rapping CPA
• ‘Juul Kid’ song
• Production assistant for Bon Jovi
• Being recognized when starting is new job at Long Island University
• You should never feel trapped at a job
• People don’t always want to talk about work at work
• How knowing more outside of the office helps with networking
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Welcome to Episode 256 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-up Friday edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I’m following up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear maybe what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know my book’s being published very, very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. So check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know when it’s coming out. Don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes, each Wednesday and now with the Follow-up Fridays. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. And this following Friday is going to be no different with my guest, Drew Carrick. He’s an Associate Vice President for Finance at Long Island University. Now, he’s with me here today. Drew, thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Drew: Yeah. Thanks for having me. God, I’m excited to be back. It’s been a couple of years so I’m glad to get back involved.
John: It has, man. Look at you. Associate Vice President? I wasn’t sure you would answer my emails anymore. No, that’s great, man. Congrats. Now, this is going to be so much fun. It was so much fun at Episode 84. Holy cow, this is nuts. Yeah. But I do the rapid-fire questions up front.
Drew: All right.
John: Here we go. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Drew: Game of Thrones. I never really saw Harry Potter.
John: Okay. All right. More cats or dogs?
Drew: Dogs 100%.
John: There you go. How about a favorite adult beverage?
John: Oh, nice. Okay. It’s hard to screw those up. And they’re good. How about this? You’re on the beach a lot. Speedo or board shorts?
Drew: As aggressive and outgoing as I might be, I’m going to stick with the board shorts there.
John: There you go. All right. Prefer more hot or cold?
Drew: I guess hot . I’m a beach, summer type of person. And being cold sucks.
John: No I hear you. Two more. How about a favorite Disney character?
Drew: I’ve always been a fan of Belle from Beauty and the Beast actually. She’s a little crush of mine, I guess.
John: There you go. There you go. How about the last one and maybe the most important one? Toilet paper roll, over or under?
Drew: I am over. Yeah, definitely over.
John: There you go. That’s awesome, man. That’s very cool. Yeah. When we talked a couple of years ago of course with Petty Ca$h and the rap videos that you were making, which are awesome and everyone can check out, but is that still something that you’re producing? It seems like you’ve expanded.
Drew: Yeah. Obviously, since creating Petty Ca$h and the Balance Sheet Boyz and the whole squad with DJ Accrualz.
John: There you go.
Drew: — I’ve stayed in touch with them, with everybody. And I’ve tried to put out some content. I rebranded and developed out the Twitter account at The Rapping CPA. So the big push was creating The Rapping CPA brand. Petty Ca$h obviously is the stage name. But I haven’t had the chance to make as many music videos directly accounting-related per se, but I have been able to get involved with other video content. And I have written a couple of songs. I’m hoping to get some new songs that I can put out there. One of the ones that I had done shortly after our last podcast was the collaboration with Meri Amber, which is on Materiality.
John: Yes. Exactly. Another guest of the podcast and in Australia, which is awesome. That video is really cool. How you guys shot the video, you’re doing the boat riding obviously out there in Fire Island and wherever.
Drew: Yeah, international collaboration.
John: Totally, man. That’s so great. I don’t think people understand how much time it takes because I mean I have my own music videos out there as well, parodies. And shooting them and writing them and getting them pretty — I mean it’s an intense amount of time. You don’t just put this together at the caliber that you’re putting them out there. It takes time and effort and energy. So I think it’s cool, man. And every time they come out, I’m always excited to see them.
Drew: One of my newer focuses is on that quality aspect where it’s one thing to just — I could lip sync in front of a bunch of different backgrounds or something but I’m trying to really focus on, “Can I collaborate with some other individuals who are good at editing or production?” I think one of the pinnacles actually, which is not necessarily my accounting personality direction, which I did as the rapping CPA, but I have — as my passion hobby aspect of it is Juul Kid, which I’m sure everyone’s familiar with these USB-looking vape devices. I was trying to capitalize on that market. I created a song called Juul Kid to be the anthem. It makes fun of it, plays on it. You’re not really sure if I’m supporting it or against it or being sarcastic. I had a really good production done on that. It’s definitely a fun, catchy song and enjoyable video in my opinion. That was one of the things that came out last year with.
John: Yeah. I mean that’s an original song. I mean if it’s a parody, it’s — I don’t want to say easier, but at least the music’s there. The rhythm’s there and all that. But I mean to create it from out of nothing, that’s super cool, man, and so creative of you.
Drew: That’s the most rewarding. It’s when you’re like, “I made this from nothing into something.” I was at the gym. All of a sudden, I got the idea of like — I just started saying, “I’m a Juul kid. This is how I rule.” I got back, started writing lyrics down.
John: Yeah. “After security escorted me out, I…” “That’s guys mumbling on the treadmill over there. What’s going on?” That’s super cool, man. That’s super cool. Yeah. I mean I know just the entertainment in general. I know some of the acting as well you were getting into and exploring.
Drew: Yeah. I had some cool experiences. I was able to build up the stage presence. Obviously, I acted throughout high school and into college. So I’m used to being in front of crowds and whatnot. A couple of the more professional things I’ve done is speaking at the Accounting and Finance Show in New York, the Javits Center. That was a fun experience. A lot of networking was done there. I was talking about engaging millennials and how to understand them and whatnot.
Then a couple of other things. Recently, I did the Ohio CPA Society. I did a couple speeches for them. It’s been good getting that exposure with them too. Then as far as the acting goes, I was involved with Bon Jovi’s music videos, the ones that he released when he got inducted into the Hall of Fame, Walls and When We Were Us. I got to be a production assistant over there and then an extra actually in the show itself.
John: That’s so cool. How’d that come about?
Drew: Again, it’s just the networking and the connections. I realized, “Okay. I knew a guy who did music videos who had his own production company. He had been growing it.” I said, “Hey, if you need anything this winter, let me know.” “We’re doing Bon Jovi.” I got there. They ended up actually using me as Bon Jovi stunt double. It was like I tagged out, he tagged in. They filmed him and then he stepped out. I stepped back in and then they readjusted the camera on me. Once they got the shot they wanted, they said, “All right. Jon, hop back in here. Drew, you’re out.” Yeah. It was really neat, really cool experience.
John: That’s awesome. Did they get you a wig or did Bon Jovi cut his hair?
Drew: No wigs were needed.
John: Different shooting angle. Yeah. No, that’s super cool, man. That’s so great. What? I mean who knew that was going to happen? I’d like to take the 100% credit as the What’s Your “And”? podcast pump boost — no, no. That’s all you, man. That’s so cool, man. That’s so cool. Now, are you talking about this amongst colleagues or at work? I know it’s a different environment now than public accounting where you worked before.
Drew: Yeah. One of the cool things is that I was easily recognized. One of the interesting things actually about me getting the job here was I went down to the IT department. I was getting shown around when I was getting schmoozed into, “You should come work here,” blah, blah, blah. They were like, “All right. We’re going to do your interview now. I want you to on-the-spot give us a little freestyle about Information Technology.”
Drew: I just did it and a bunch of the people here recognized that I had this creative talent and ability. So when I got here, I haven’t been doing really just finance stuff. I mean it’s definitely been a portion of it. But I become more of a liaison of between whether it’s accounts payable, human resources, the registrar, awarding of scholarships, dealing with faculty, marketing. All of the different components now, they recognized that and they say, “I really like all the stuff you’re doing. It’s real skills, real talent. You’re not a one trick pony.” I share everything with everybody. And the cool thing is that I have leaders who can support me in doing these different endeavors.
John: Yeah. It gives you the freedom to be able to do some of that because there is dividends to be had from that. When you have stories that aren’t just work-related, you create those stronger connections. And especially when you’re bouncing between departments. I mean if you talk accounting to faculty, they’re like, “I don’t care. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” So I think that’s really cool and really important. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that’s like, “Hey, my passion has nothing to do with my job.”
Drew: One of the first keys is that you shouldn’t feel trapped like you’re in a workplace where you can’t be yourself or you can’t bring that passion. There’s always room for the passion regardless what it is. And I think you know that more than anybody else just from all the different stories of everybody that you’ve spoken to; that you can’t devalue the passion that you have, especially with something that you might have a skillset at. And I don’t think there’s ever any harm in — if it’s not necessarily designed to be, “All right. I’m at a job where my passion really is not applicable at all,” but if they’re at least supportive of you being able to do that.
One of the big things that I’ve done since we last spoke is actually creating The Rapping CPA brand. And now, I have therappingcpa.com, which is — finally, there’s a real website where there’s examples of the things that I’ve done and a bunch of the different organizations that I’ve worked with in helping produce content or speaking or being an educator on various topics of culture or millennials and whatnot. Building that on the side while you’re still doing your regular job is a privilege, I think. It can’t devalue the passion that you have.
John: Yeah, for sure. Because I mean when you were in public accounting, you had that passion. You have a different job now, you have that passion. You got promoted, you still have that passion. That passion goes with you everywhere you are. The skills that you’re using, the technical accounting skills have changed. From when you first started in public to where you are today, it’s a totally different toolkit of technical skills. But that passion is always there. And I think it’s important that we don’t forget that. But for you, I think it’s awesome that I mean you’ve actually doubled down on it. I mean you have dot.com now. I mean it’s like you’re legit. That’s great.
Drew: Yeah. Talking about the passions, with people at work, it really became exemplified here because in public accounting, they’re always talking the talk about culture and how it’s important to bring your whole self to work. With the big thing at Grant Thornton that we had done there, it’s different when you’re in a private environment. But the thing that I’ve realized — and you touched on this earlier — is that people like to talk about not work-related things even when they’re at work. I’ll go into rooms and I’ll be like, “Hey, I wanted to really talk about this spreadsheet.” They’re like, “I don’t want to talk about the spreadsheet.” I need to know the answer, but they would rather talk about like, “What videos are you coming up with? What songs are you releasing? Did you make any new lyrics?” It’s pushing me to be like, “You know what? These are things I am really passionate about. I should focus more on them.” It’s giving me that little punch in the arm to be like, “Follow these passions that you always talk about. You have the skills and the talent. We see it. What are you doing about it?” That’s a different environment as like, “Oh, that’s nice that you have that hobby. But can you get us these documents?” It’s flipping the script and being like, “Yeah. We know you can do the documents. We know you know finance, blah, blah, blah. But how’s the acting thing going? Any new shows you’re booking?” That’s pretty neat.
The other part about that too, which I think is a good piece of advice, is the networking that comes with just knowing more. I mean this comes with something like traveling. Now, when I went to New Orleans, I learned about shotgun houses and how historic districts were formed. But just like now, say, you meet somebody that, “Oh, have you ever been to this place? Have you ever been to that place?” and now you can’t connect on that. I started fishing a little bit. I started golfing a little bit. It’s just having more of these skills and hobbies and passions and things that you just know about. It makes you much more able to relate to people in a much stronger way and connect with them. And in business, as we know, that goes so far, being able to network and connect —
John: Totally because the connections don’t happen over the spreadsheets and the work. I mean maybe on a rare occasion if there’s a really intense project or something, yeah, you’re going to bond with that person because you’re around them way too much. But it’s because you like them. It’s not because, “Oh, they memorized all the FASBs or whatever it is.” I think that’s so cool that people have such a genuine interest in you, not just the finance you, which has got to feel really good.
John: That’s awesome. It’s so cool, Drew. Man, it’s so exciting to catch up with you again and just see what you’re doing. Everyone can check out therappingcpa.com for all the videos that we’ve been talking about. Yeah. I’m going to have to check out these Bon Jovi music videos like, “What?” That’s super cool, man. That’s super cool. Before we wrap this up though, it’s only fair that I allow you to rapid-fire question me. I’m sure there are hundreds of questions you’ve wanted to ask me, but we’ll limit it to two or three if that’s cool.
Drew: I got four going.
John: Okay, four. I’ll let you slide. All right.
Drew: All right. Steak chicken or fish?
John: Steak all day.
Drew: That’s good stuff. Beer, wine or liquor?
Drew: Wow, like a vino.
John: Yeah. It goes with the steak.
Drew: Yeah, right.
John: I’m getting hungry as we talk right now.
Drew: You’ve been traveling around, so East Coast or West Coast?
John: Oh, that’s a good question. They’re so diverse. I mean there’s Florida and then there’s Maine. Then there’s Boston, New York, Philly in DC or west coast. I’m going to go East Coast. They’re just more condensed there. I just ride a lot. Boston, New York, Philly, DC, I mean that’s an eight hour span of amazing cities and history and food and everything. So I guess I’ll go East Coast.
Drew: The last one is city life or rural life?
John: I grew up rural, kind of small town but always near a city. But I’m definitely city. I live Downtown Denver. Yeah. I’m definitely city now. But I can relate to everybody. I’m not one of those snob types, but definitely city. It’s just more convenient to get to the airport, to get to restaurants, to get to sporting events, to get to concerts. It’s all right there.
Drew: Yeah. That’s awesome.
John: Well, cool, Drew. Well, thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? It’s so much fun.
Drew: No problem. Anytime.
John: Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Drew in action or check out his videos, you can connect with him on social media. Go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. Thanks again for subscribing in iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread that who you are is so much more than what you do.