It turns out the police operation that resulted in 21 Savage’s detainment by ICE actually had a different target after all: Savage’s fellow Atlantan trap rapper, Young Nudy. CBS News reported that the operation targeted Quantavious Thomas, Nudy’s real name, for reasons unrelated to 21 Savage’s immigration issue. Both rappers and two other men were pulled over and arrested at the same time, which is what ultimately led to Savage being reported to ICE. Due to the announcement from ICE that they had arrested 21 Savage, there was some confusion about the nature of the operation in question.
The 26-year-old Young Nudy is actually Savage’s cousin and the pair had previously collaborated on the former’s song, “Since When.” Nudy’s biggest hit to date was 2017’s “Yeah Yeah” from his mixtape Slimeball. Nudy also appeared on 21’s Free Guwop EP on the song “Air It Out.” Nudy was working on a mixtape for release sometime in 2019 titled Nudy Land 2. The reports are vague on exactly why he was being targeted, but given the lyrical subject matter of his tapes and singles, it’s probably fair to make some educated guesses.
Savage was tagged by ICE after the arrest, as he moved to Atlanta from Dominica with his mother in 2004 when he was 12 years old and his visa expired four years later. In ICE’s announcement, he was identified as a “United Kingdom national,” leading to Twitter jokes imagining him as a tried-and-true, tea-sipping, crumpet-munching English citizen. The arrest came at an unfortunate time for 21, whose I Am > I Was has been gaining traction behind the single “A Lot,” which was highlighted by a lavish video and a soulful late night performance.