×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

21 Savage Says He Was ‘Definitely’ Targeted by ICE

In his first interview since being released from detention by ICE on Tuesday, 21 Savage told “Good Morning America” that  he was “definitely targeted” by the immigration-enforcement agency.

“I was just driving,” he said of his arrest on Feb. 3 on the grounds that he is actually from the United Kingdom and overstayed his visa. “And I just seen guns and blue lights. And then, I was in the back of a car and I was gone. They didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.'”

Fans were confused in the hours after his arrest, as the rapper has always claimed to be from Atlanta. He was born in England and moved to Atlanta with he was family when he was 7. Apart from one brief visit to the U.K., that’s where he stayed.

“I’ve been in Atlanta probably 20 years, 19 years,” he said. “I’m from Atlanta, in my eyes. I’ve been here 20 years.”

Savage said advice from his mother helped him to cope with his incarceration. “‘Visualize yourself, whatever you wanna do, just close your eyes and visualize yourself doing that. And as long as you do that, you will never be in jail,’” he recalled her saying.

He was also highly critical of the Trump Administration’s immigration-enforcement policies. “I don’t feel like you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long,” he said. “I don’t think the policy is broken, I think the way they enforce the policy is broken.” He promised to use his platform to publicize the plight of others.

“I feel your pain, and I’m gonna do everything in my power to try and bring awareness to your pain,” he said.

The rapper was released from ICE’s Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga. Wednesday, pending a deportation hearing. He is also seeking to resolve a matter with a club owner in which he was paid for a 2016 concert but did perform. According to TMZ, the club owner filed a police report and filed paperwork to pursue felony theft by deception, but police never acted on it. After Savage was arrested, the owner picked up the case, which the rapper’s attorneys are seeking to resolve. In a statement, attorneys Charles H. Kuck, Dina LaPolt and Alex Spiro on the rapper’s behalf, wrote:

“For the past 9 long days, we, on behalf of She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known to the world as 21 Savage, have been speaking with ICE to both clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.

“In the last 24 hours, in the wake of the Grammy Awards at which he was scheduled to attend and perform, we received notice that She’yaa was granted an expedited hearing.

“Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond. He won his freedom.”

21 Savage’s legal team is a who’s who of top attorneys each specializing in different fields related to his case. They include Spiro, who was hired by Jay-Z and Roc Nation to help the rapper; Charles Kuck from Kuck and Baxter, a leading immigration lawyer; Abbi Taylor and Brian Steele, Atlanta criminal lawyers; and Bruce Harvey. 21 Savage’s personal attorney Dina LaPolt is overseeing efforts concerning his detention, which she says points to “the bigger inequity: that this is a systemic problem in America. They have no right to keep him.”

More Music

  • Parcast-Spotify

    Spotify Is Buying Parcast, Its Third Podcasting Acquisition This Year

    Spotify announced plans to acquire Parcast, a scripted-entertainment podcast studio — the streaming giant’s third podcasting pickup so far in 2019. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Spotify expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of 2019. The Parcast acquisition comes after Spotify last month paid around $337 million to buy two [...]

  • Wynn Nightlife Announces Residency for Roving

    Wynn Las Vegas to Host Residency for Roving Spanish Party Elrow

    One of Las Vegas’ biggest music players is doubling down on the power of a global brand instead of just a single DJ to help them stay on top of Sin City’s increasingly competitive clubbing scene. Wynn Nightlife has announced a year-long residency and partnership with Spain’s Elrow, a respected Ibiza-born party that last year [...]

  • PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’

    PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several [...]

  • The Top 10 Portrayals of Record

    Music Executives on Screen: 10 Memorable Movie Portrayals

    In the Netflix biopic “The Dirt,” Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live” fame portrays A&R exec Tom Zutaut, the man who signed Motley Crue to Elektra and Guns N’ Roses to Geffen, while veteran character actor David Costabile (“The Wire,” “Billions”) is manager Doc McGhee. They follow in a long and illustrious line of label [...]

  • MTV EMAs to Be Held in

    MTV EMAs to Be Held in Seville, Spain

    The MTV EMAs are returning to Spain, heading for the city of Seville after last year’s edition in Bilbao, MTV announced Monday. The 26th annual MTV Europe Music Awards, which will feature acts and music from around the world, is to take place Nov. 3. “We are thrilled to land in Seville for the 2019 [...]

  • R. Kelly

    Dubai Government Says No R. Kelly Concerts Planned in United Arab Emirates

    The government of Dubai has denied that any R. Kelly concerts are planned in the United Arab Emirates after Kelly’s attorney asked a Chicago judge last week to delay a ruling on the R&B singer’s request to travel to Dubai to perform. Local newspaper “The National,” which has government ties, carried a story Monday quoting [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content