Rapper 21 Savage Arrested by ICE for Overstaying Visa

For most rappers, their hometowns are a major part of their personas. Rapping about where you grew up or your state is a common trope in hip hop.

In most cases, we never think to double check if a rapper is actually from the place that they claim to be. Why? Because it seems insane that someone would lie about their birthplace.

But recent news has revealed that the phenomenon of lying about where you come from could be more common than we think.

On Sunday, rapper 21 Savage, who previously claimed to be from Atlanta, Ga was arrested by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. ICE claims that the rapper, whose legal name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph overstayed his visa.

Brian Cox, a spokesman for ICE, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the arrest was part of a targeted operation.

The arrest occurred during a traffic stop in DeKalb County. Three other people who were with him were also taken into custody.

Cox claims that the rapper is actually an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national.” He says that 21 Savage came to the country legally in 2005, but did not leave after his visa expired the next year.

“In addition to being in violation of federal immigration law, Mr. Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia,” ICE wrote in a statement, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts. ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”

Georgia Roots

Since breaking onto the rap scene, 21 Savage has claimed to be from Atlanta.

In 2015, he told XXL that he was “the real Atlanta” and claimed that some other people representing Atlanta were actually fakes.

He’s even gone as far as giving back to the community that he claims to be from. In 2018, he hosted his third annual “Issa Back 2 School Drive” that helps kids in the DeKalb County school district get the supplies they need for the upcoming school year.

The event took place at the 285 Flea Mart off Glenwood Road, which the rapper said that he spent a lot of time visiting when he was younger, according to the AJC.

“I might rap about a lot of stuff, but that’s just a reflection of what I’ve been through,” he said of the event to the AJC. “In real life, everything I do, I want to bring everybody together. I want to give back to the community, help the kids, get them uniforms, books, book bags, everything they need…just do better. That’s where it starts, the kids.”

Court Proceedings

As for what will happen to the UK rapper now, that is still up in the air. 21 Savage is currently in police custody.

According to reports from Fox 5, 21 Savage has a lawyer working to help him get out of federal immigration detention.

In an email to the Associated Press, his lawyer, Dina LaPolt, said she is currently working with the authorities “to clear up any misunderstandings.” LaPolt says that the rapper is actually a role model to the young people in the U.S and specifically in Atlanta.

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