21 Savage, the 26-year-old rapper, who has been a staple on the Atlanta rap scene for over a decade, was detained by ICE agents in a “targeted operation” Sunday.
He was born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph in the United Kingdom and entered the United States legally in July 2005. His visa expired one year later. Most of the artist’s fans didn’t know the rapper wasn’t born outside of the states as he reps some of Atlanta’s neighborhoods.
The targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners happened early Sunday in metro Atlanta,” according to ICE spokesman Brian Cox. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody, as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.”
In 2014, Savage was convicted of felony drug charges in Fulton County, Georgia.
The rapper’s attorney, Dina LaPolt, said: “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia — and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
In August, he gave free school supplies to more than 2,500 DeKalb County school students.
The rapper has released two albums prior. For 2019, 21 Savage is nominated for two Grammy Awards — one for Record of the Year and the other for Best Rap Performance.