21 Savage is…British?

Ben Malo and Edited by Valerie Alcala

After I thought the rap landscape in 2019 couldn’t get any weirder, ICE released a statement about rapper 21 Savage. It said that he had been illegally living in the United States since the age of 12. Later, documents were shown to help prove the fact that 21 Savage was 6 when he moved to the US. This whole situation is just politically weird.

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Rapper 21 Savage. Image courtesy of Google Images.

21 Savage, or Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in Plaistow, London, but him and his mother left for the US when he was only 6. In seventh grade, 21 would be banned from all schools in the DeKalb school district for gun possession, which forced him to go to school in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Soon after, he was sent to a juvenile detention center, and when he got out he finished 8th grade through an alternative program, but dropped out freshman year. He became affiliated with the Blood Gang and started selling drugs for a living. He participated in multiple armed robberies and shoot outs, but in an attempted robbery he was shot 6 times. After surviving, 21 started thinking that he needed to clean himself up; he needed to get off of the streets. He started making rap music, and soon bigger artists started to listen in and support his original sound.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

Fast forward a few years, and 21 Savage is now one of the biggest rappers in the game and has become well-known for his charity work. He is a walking symbol of the American Dream, as he became something out of nothing. Three days before the arrest, 21 Savage performed a song off of his number one album, I AM> I WAS, where he added an extra line speaking out against ICE and how they split families apart.

This whole crazy situation has raised the question of the ethics and morals of ICE. Is 21 Savage really a menace to society, or is he anything short of someone who embodies what the US is all about?