It definitely hasn’t been a great weekend for rappers in Atlanta. On Saturday, February 2, Bow Wow was arrested on battery charges after getting into a fight with his ex-girlfriend, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Now, another ATL-based artist is in trouble with the law. Rapper 21 Savage was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Sunday, February 3, based on the fact that he wasn’t born in the United States. According to reports coming from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fox News, 21 Savage — whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph — is actually from the United Kingdom and has overstayed his visa.
The 26-year-old was reportedly taken into custody in a “targeted operation,” ICE spokesman Brian Cox told the AJC. The rapper has been placed in “removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” he added.
A spokesperson for ICE also told CNN that 21 Savage’s claims about being from Atlanta are completely fake. He reportedly entered the United States in 2005 on a non-immigrant visa, that was only valid for one year after the date of his initial entry.
“His whole public persona is false,” the spokesperson said. “He actually came to the U.S. from the U.K. as a teen and overstayed his visa.”
According to a report from TMZ, 21 Savage’s attorney is already working to have the rapper removed from detention.
“We are working diligently to got Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding,” Dina LaPolt said. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia.”
She went on to say that the rapper plays an active role in local community programs to assist underprivileged youths.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has also reported that the rapper has a criminal record. He has reportedly had several run-ins with the law and has was even convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia.
Rapper 21 Savage is known for songs such as “Bank Account” and “A Lot,” featuring J. Cole. According to a report from Genius, the rapper recently addressed the issue of immigration on his track with J. Cole. During the song, the rapper can be heard rapping about the ICE-enforced family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he couldn’t imagine being in that situation and having his kids ripped away from him.
The rapper also made headlines after being romantically linked to model Amber Rose in 2017. The couple’s romance was short-lived and they parted ways the following year.