26-year-old Atlanta rapper 21 Savage has been released on bond to await his deportation hearing, according to TMZ. Savage was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday in a sting operation supposedly targeting his cousin Young Nudy for a 2017 aggravated assault warrant. Police say they ran a background check on his arrest and turned him over to ICE custody when it was discovered that he was a United Kingdom national residing in the US on an expired visa, but later accounts contradicted this story.
Since then, 21 Savage was detained by ICE as more details were gradually revealed, including Savage’s original London birth certificate and the fact that the rapper was applying for a U visa to correct his immigration status and travel for work. He received an outpouring of support from fans and peers, including fellow Atlantans Gunna and Metro Boomin, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jay-Z, who offered legal aid via Roc Nation’s legal team, and Black Lives Matter, who started a petition to secure his release.
However, his release came a day late for the Grammys, where his managers tried to arrange a show of support from his fellow musicians despite the show’s producers refusing to release his tickets to his mother. It’s unclear why ICE held him so long, but considering the agency’s activities at the nation’s southern border, it’s hardly a surprise.
Savage’s lawyers released a statement thanking his supporter, saying, “21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters — he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together. He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country. And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”
The date of 21 Savage’s deportation hearing has yet to be announced.