×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

21 Savage Talks Possible Deportation, Grammys in New Interview

After being arrested on Feb. 3 for a visa violation, Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage — whom few people knew was actually a U.K. citizen — spent 10 highly publicized days in ICE detention before being released on Wednesday. The following day, the New York Times sat down with him for an interview in which the rapper talked about his detention, his upbringing and the plight of immigrants in Trump’s America.

While much attention was focused on his missing the Grammy Awards — where he was nominated for two trophies for his performance on Post Malone’s song “Rockstar,” while did not win — that was pretty far from his mind while he was incarcerated. “Nah, I was stressed about getting out,” he said when asked if he was sad he’d missed the show. “The Grammys is the Grammys, but when you in jail, the Grammys is nothing. I got to watch it. By that time they had put a TV in my room.”

He also knew that even though his name was not mentioned during the show, apart from Malone shouting out “21 Savage!” briefly during his performance, he was on the minds of many in the audience. “Yeah I was supposed to perform. He wore the 21 Savage shirt, so I felt like I was there. I don’t care what nobody say — everybody in that building who’s connected to this culture, I was on their mind in some type of way. That’s all that mattered. They didn’t have to say it ’cause everybody knew it. It was in the air. All the people that was there, they said the words in other places and that matter just as much. All the big artists was vocal about the situation, so I was appreciative.”

He said the prospect of being deported weighed heavily on him during his incarceration. “It really wasn’t jail [that was most upsetting], it was the possibility of me not being able to live in this country no more that I’ve been living in my whole life,” he said. “All that just going through your head, like, ‘Damn, I love my house, I ain’t gonna be able to go in my house no more? I ain’t gonna be able to go to my favorite restaurant that I been going to for 20 years straight?’ That’s the most important thing. If you tell me, ‘I’ll give you 20 million to go stay somewhere you ain’t never stayed,’ I’d rather be broke. I’ll sit in jail to fight to live where I’ve been living my whole life.”

But despite the ways that his family struggled living illegally in the States — they didn’t qualify for government assistance or food stamps — he says he wouldn’t trade his upbringing for an easier one, given the chance.

“It made me who I am,” he said. “I wouldn’t write it no other way if I had the choice. If they said, “Hey, you could start your life over and make yourself a citizen,” I wouldn’t have never did it. I still want to go through this right here ’cause it made me who I am, it made me strong.”

 

 

 

More Music

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Spectators watch the 2019 Eurovision Song

    U.S. Music Industry Delegation Convenes in Tel Aviv for Eurovision

    This past weekend, squeezed between a string of Eurovision Song Contest parties, Tel Aviv’s posh Norman hotel played host to an intimate, invite-only dinner of music industry delegates from the United States. The rooftop-set event was designed as a highlight on the itinerary of the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) weeklong trip to Israel. CCFP, [...]

  • Greta Von Fleet - Jake KiszkaGreta

    Greta Van Fleet Put Spotlight on Solos at Asbury Park Tour Stop

    Michigan rockers Greta Van Fleet brought their “March of the Peaceful Army” tour to the Jersey Shore on Saturday night, performing at the legendary Asbury Park venue the Stone Pony’s Summer Stage. The band packed the outdoor venue on a moonlit, summer-seeming night in what staffers said was the series’ fastest-selling concert to date, with [...]

  • Madonna

    Madonna's Madame X Tour Adds New York, Chicago and L.A. Dates

    Madonna has added additional shows to her upcoming Madame X tour. Nine newly booked dates have been announced for New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The Queen of Pop adds five additional New York concerts at the Howard Gilman Opera House, which will take place between Oct. 2 to 7; two extra shows will take [...]

  • Doug Davis and Jodie ShihadehVariety Power

    Jodie Shihadeh Named Partner at The Davis Firm

    Jodie Shihadeh has been named Partner at The Davis Firm, PLLC. She joined the firm in 2011 and rose from associate to Managing Attorney and now partner. She graduated from Boston College and received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 2011. While still in law school she interned in the Business [...]

  • ZZ Top, Caesars Entertainment Team on

    ZZ Top, Caesars Team for Jukebox Musical 'Sharp Dressed Man' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees ZZ Top and Caesars Entertainment are developing “Sharp Dressed Man,” a jukebox musical set to open next year in Las Vegas featuring the band’s greatest hits. Members Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard are all serving as executive producers. “Sharp Dressed Man” is described as an “outrageous, [...]

  • Dakota Johnson Tracee Ellis Ross

    Dakota Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross Co-Starring in Comedy 'Covers'

    Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross will co-star in “Covers,” a comedy set in the music scene in Hollywood. “Late Night” director Nisha Ganatra is helming from a screenplay by Flora Greeson. Focus Features is partnering with Working Title Films on the movie. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with Alexandra Loewy [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content