When ICE arrested 21 Savage for a long-expired visa, the agency described him as a “United Kingdom national,” which led many to assume that he was English in their Twitter memes and jokes. Now, The Daily Mail has apparently surfaced the rapper’s birth certificate, showing that he actually was born in London in the borough of Lambeth. While that fact doesn’t exactly preclude the previously existing story that he was raised in his mother’s home nation of Dominica for the first 12 years of his life before moving to Atlanta, it does lend some credence to the images online of fuzzy hats and Big Ben figuring into 21’s life story. However, authorities paint a different picture of the timeline of events.
According to the birth certificate posted by the Mail, 21 was born Sheyaa bin Abraham to British-born parents Heather Joseph and Kevin Emmons. The new story, according to authorities, is that Savage moved from England to the US with Joseph in 2005 while Emmons stayed behind in Brixton with two more daughters. An ICE spokesman said that the rapper is currently in ICE custody in Georgia and “has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts.” An immigration judge will determine what happens next.
Despite the fact that some of the details of Savage’s autobiography appear to have changed, his experiences in Atlanta are documented. So, while ICE maintains that his persona is a “complete fabrication,” there’s no taking away the experiences that he’s had in he 14 years since he moved there. But those “cheerio” jokes are likely going to land a lot closer to home for 21 — wherever that may actually be in the near future.