On February 3rd, 2019, Atlanta rapper 21 Savage was detained by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement for living in the United States illegally for most of his life, as it was revealed that he was really born in the UK.
This threw many for a loop, as the rapper has risen to fame on a sound that is so near and dear to the city he called home – Atlanta. People on the internet began to question his genuineness, with a myriad of social media posts mocking 21 Savage’s newly-discovered birthplace.
Just ten days later, the rapper was released on bail, but the legal issues for 21 aren’t over yet. The ICE may potentially seek to deport him back to the UK, despite the fact that the rapper (born She-yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) was already working to obtain legal citizenship in the US.
While a lot of the internet’s response to this situation has been comedy-driven, there are those who see this as a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. For example, a YouTuber with over 200,000 subscribers – the “Rap Critic” – had this to say about Abraham-Joseph’s legal predicament: “[21 Savage] entered the United States illegally at 7 years old and as they say, he lost his legal status due to no fault of his own, but he still isn’t allowed to be released on bond. Not only that, his lawyers say he’s never hidden his immigration status from the government and that he was actually already in the process of applying for a visa. So, um, government? Why is 21 Savage still in jail?”
Of course, since the time that video was released (“Rap Critic: a lot by 21 Savage ft. J. Cole”), Abraham-Joseph has been released on that $100,000 bail. But, only time will tell if 21 Savage will receive the justice that many people think he deserves, or if he will be sent back to Europe because of these legal issues.