By Mackenzie Pittman
Early on February 3, Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, more commonly known by his stage name 21 Savage, was taken into custody by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE stated that Mr. Abraham-Joseph had been staying in the US illegally for the past 13 years, and was a citizen of the United Kingdom, not the United States, and certainly wasn’t from Atlanta, Georgia. The agency claimed he lawfully entered the U.S. at age 12 in 2005, but did not leave when his visa expired the next year in 2006.
The announcement came as a shock to his fans, who believed him to be Atlanta through and through. He was well-known in Georgia for his contribution to hip-hop and donating to a variety of charities. There are several instances in interviews where 21 Savage refers to his “childhood” while growing up in Atlanta. An ICE official was quoted saying,”His whole public persona is false.”
He was recently nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap Performance at the Grammy’s for his feature in Post Malone’s song “Rockstar” and released his second album I am > I was in December of 2018.
ICE officials say he is currently being held in Georgia to await the outcome of his case with the federal immigration courts.