by Mylo Jones
On February 3rd, rapper 21 Savage was arrested following a traffic stop in Atlanta, Georgia. You may know 21 from songs like “Bank Account” and the infamous dagger tattoo on his forehead.
He was taken into ICE custody when officials discovered he is a citizen of the United Kingdom living in the US past his visa expiration. 21 was born in East London to British parents and moved to the US when he was 7-years-old. His visa expired in 2006, and has not been renewed since. After spending 9 days in custody he is set to be released on bond Wednesday, February 13th.
The news of his true citizenship was a shock to fans as 21 has had several run-ins with the law and is heavily associated with East Atlanta’s Zone 6. This area that is officially known by law enforcement as Patrol Zone 6. 21 along with other artists like Young Nudy, Future, and 6lack also call the area home.(listen to their collab honoring Zone 6 here)
A few days prior to his arrest, Savage performed his current single “a lot” live on The Tonight Show. He added a line that addressed how ICE continues to separate immigrant families: “been through some things but I could not imagine my kids stuck at the border.” He also mentioned the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Reminder: yes this is still an issue that our government decides to overlook. The coincidence led some fans (just me and my conspiracies) to believe the arrest was a targeted operation.
Besides being aware of social issues in our country, 21 Savage also does a lot of work within his community. He funds an annual back to school drive for Atlanta youth. He provides school supplies, backpacks, bikes, and school clothes. He also announced a "21 Savage Bank Account" campaign last year that gave 21 teens $1,000 to start their own bank accounts and learn about financial literacy. This is important as 87% of teens have admitted they feel like they do not have proper money management skills. It’s more than just rapping to him, he wants to inspire people to do better and create a better future.
The rapper was nominated for two Grammys and was scheduled to perform his feature on Post Malone’s chart-topper “Rockstar” this past Sunday. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend since he was still in custody.
21’s immigration attorney and management released a statement on his behalf:
“21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters — he says that while he wasn't present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is, more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together. He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country. And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them."
ICE is not releasing answers on 21’s case to the media but his attorney stated that he has applied for a visa, and is set for an expedited trial. If deported, ICE will allow him to keep all of the assets he gained in America, as they should because citizen or not it is his money. Maybe ICE should be deported instead as all people deserve a chance at the American Dream.
To take action for sensible immigration reform, text ACT to 52886.