Rapper 21 Savage believes his music and fame made him a target for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). The rapper, who was released on bond from the agency on Wednesday, made the aforementioned statement during an interview with Good Morning America.
Savage said that he was worried he would be deported after sitting in a cell for almost a 24-hour period.
“Yeah, but I feel like I done been through so much in my life, like, I learned to embrace the times when I’m down ’cause they always build me up and take me to a new level in life,” he said during the GMA interview.
Savage’s case is now in the hands of immigration courts, who have not yet made a final decision on whether or not the rapper can remain in the United States.
Fans were shocked when it was revealed that Savage was not originally from the United States but is in fact, a British citizen. Fans believed that the rapper was originally from Atlanta, Georgia. His legal name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph and has been a resident of the United States since 2005, having entered the country legally with his family.
The BBC reported that Savage came to the U.S. in July 2005 at age 12 and failed to leave when his visa expired a year later.
"We believe he was targeted because he's a celebrity and they can use this to send a message." @21Savage's lawyer says the rapper wants to bring awareness and fight for people who don't have the same resources that he does. pic.twitter.com/IuqRfNeGZD— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 15, 2019
Savage was detained by ICE agents on February 3.
“I was just driving. And I just seen guns and blue lights. And, then, I was in the back of a car. And I was gone,” he explained about the day he was put under arrest to GMA. “It was definitely targeted. There was helicopters.”
Although he is a resident of the United Kingdon, Savage feels like his home city is in Atlanta because he has lived there for almost 20 years.
.@21Savage's lawyers believe this arrest had to do with a music video he released for his song "A Lot" that criticizes immigration policies on the border. https://t.co/8XGtNj5gS2 pic.twitter.com/5xiPoqhfs5— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 15, 2019
The rapper’s lawyers believe the musician’s arrest had to do with the video for his song “A Lot.” The song details poverty, death, racism, and abuse, reported Rolling Stone. The video and song also address the issues immigrants are facing at the border as they attempt to enter the United States.
The New York Times reported that just a couple of days after the release for the video of “A Lot,” Savage was brought into custody. The newspaper also detailed Savage’s childhood, which was marked with trauma and hard times. The NYT reported that the rapper alleged he “dropped out of school to sell drugs,” but it was the loss of both a friend and a brother to violence that turned the tides for the entertainer and he shifted his focus to rapping about what he saw and what he has experienced in his life.
This shift eventually led Savage to be nominated in two categories for the 2019 Grammy Awards for the song “Rockstar,” in the categories of Record of The Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance.