Atlanta is hosting the Super Bowl this weekend, and it’s also a big hip-hop city, so a lot of rappers are in the area for the game and other related reasons. Atlanta rapper 21 Savage is in town for some pre-Super Bowl festivities, but now his weekend has taken a turn for the worse: Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2 reports that the rapper has been arrested by Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE), who says that the rapper is actually from the UK, not Atlanta.
ICE has shared the following statement about the arrest:
“US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA ’21 Savage’ during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta. Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the US and also a convicted felon.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph initially entered the US legally in July 2005, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa and he became unlawfully present in the US when his visa expired in July 2006. In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia.
Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts. ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”
Meanwhile, CNN’s Nick Valencia says an ICE spokesperson told him, “His whole public persona is false. He actually came to the US from the U.K. as a teen and overstayed his visa.”
21 Savage’s attorney, Dina LaPolt, told TMZ, “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
The city of Atlanta has long been a part of 21 Savage’s identity. Last year, he hosted his third annual back-to-school drive in the city, and in 2017, he insisted that true trap music can only come from Atlanta, saying, “Trap is some Atlanta sh*t… Me, Thug, Future, Migos, 2 Chainz. You gotta be from Atlanta. Atlanta is some trap sh*t. Trap is some Atlanta sh*t… It’s not about the beat, it’s about what you’re saying.”