Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, aka 21 Savage, was born in Plaistow, London in 1992 and at the age of seven moved to the US. After a troubled teenage life he began to pursue a career in music and immersed himself in Atlanta’s underground rap scene. The star was held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers last night – he is being held in a federal immigration custody in Georgia and could be deported back to the UK.
ATLANTA – In a new statement released to Channel 2 Action News, attorneys for 21 Savage said the rapper “never hid his immigration status” and applied for a U-Visa two years ago.
Owings notes that Savage’s team might apply for cancellation of removal,” which would allow the rapper to work and live in the U.S. while his case is pending. Harris reports cancellation of removal” is available to undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for 10 years and can show that their deportation would cause hardship to a spouse, parent, or child who is here legally.” Savage has three children.
In this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo, 21 Savage performs onstage during the Meadows Music And Arts Festival – Day 1 at Citi Field in New York City. Hudson said he’s saddened the 2014 case, for which the rapper got 12 months’ probation, now plays a role in the immigration case against 21 Savage.
21 Savage’s team told Channel 2 Action News supporters have set up a petition to get him out of prison. LOS ANGELES – Rapper 21 Savage believes immigrants like him who lived in America illegally as children should automatically become U.S. citizens.
Even the core of 21’s citizenship issue appears to be centered around a misunderstanding. Although 21 Savage and his legal team declined to discuss specifics of his status and case, the rapper told The New York Times that in 2005 when he was 12 he returned to the UK for a month to attend his uncle’s funeral. Upon re-entry to the United States he was granted an H-4 visa. An H-4 visa is given to the partner or the children (under the age of 21) of an H-1B visa holder. “An H-1B visa is for a professional occupation and will usually go to someone who possesses a degree that is the normal entry qualification for that profession,” explains New York-based immigration lawyer Andrew L. Fair (Fair is not part of 21 Savage’s legal team). “Usually the H-4 visa will expire at the same time as the H-1B visa holder, though it might be possible that it could expire sooner,” he continues.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested rapper 21 Savage on Sunday, multiple outlets reported. The agency claimed that the rapper, whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, 26, is not actually from Atlanta—as widely believed—but instead is from the United Kingdom and overstayed his visa. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA ‘21 Savage’ during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta,” the agency said in a statement. An ICE spokesman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Abraham-Joseph legally entered the U.S. in July 2005 on a visa, which expired a year later.
Though 21 Savage would also find fruitful creative partnerships with Cardi B on “Bartier Cardi” and Drake on “Sneakin’,” he scored his biggest hit to date by teaming with Post Malone on “Rockstar.” His raw and intense performances on his spring and summer tours supporting Post Malone were further proof of the onstage prowess he displayed on his own Issa Music and Numb the Pain tours.
21 Savage tries to tell us that he wants us to bring everybody around this neighborhood together to support black-owned businesses and black people in the community,” said participant Khaleege Watts, 20.
UK authorities have said they are in contact with a lawyer for Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage, who is in federal immigration custody in the US as he is allegedly there illegally.
Atlanta US Immigration Judge Dan Pelletier granted the 26-year-old rapper a $100,000 bond during a hearing on Tuesday and the performer was released from an ICE detention centre in south Georgia on Wednesday.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors applauded 21 Savage for becoming an advocate for social justice and for shedding light on immigrant issues for black people.
The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U Visa petition has been pending for 4 years”, said JAY-Z in a Facebook post. 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately”. Read the whole statement below.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman said he was in the country illegally and a convicted felon. He clarified that when the rapper was first arrested, ICE was not aware of his immigration status.
Up until the moment when he was arrested, there wasn’t a nationally or public conversation about black immigrants,” said Cullors, who introduced 21 Savage and handed him the Courageous Luminaries award. Her activist organization led a coalition to facilitate his release from ICE custody.
Abraham-Joseph was nominated for two awards at the Grammys, including record of the year for Rockstar alongside Post Malone. His second solo album I Am I Was, released in December, debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
When he released his sophomore LP I Am > I Was in December 2018, he gifted $16,000 in Amazon gift cards to youngsters who attended the album’s companion interactive Motel 21 activation in Decatur, Georgia. He also visited several colleges and STEM schools in metro Atlanta, along with U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), to lead 21st Century Banking Workshops, cross-topic fireside chats featuring discussions on financial capabilities, career opportunities in the music business, gang violence and gun control.
Maddox worked on the mixes alone, while keeping in close contact with Epic’s A&R people, Jennifer Goicoechea and Ericka Coulter, and 21’s engineer, Mac Attkisson. “Mac recorded 21 at a studio in Atlanta called Tree Sound, and he put all the files together, and gave them to me on a hard drive, so there was no chance of the tracks leaking, something which 21 was very concerned about. Mac would hand me the vocals with the instrumentals, the latter as individual track outs. After that, all I really had to do was organise my workflow, and start mixing. I did about a mix a day, and would get feedback from Jennifer and Ericka, and they would play the tracks for 21 to get his notes, which were also sent to me.
Speaking on a Hot 97 radio programme, Ocasio-Cortez likened Abraham-Joseph’s detention to similar arrests of prominent political activists who speak out against ICE, suggesting that the rapper’s case was used to intimidate others.
The full name of the unknown mixer in question is Chanbuny Maddox Chhim, aka Maddmix, who works from a studio in his house in Atlanta. “My parents were from Cambodia, and lived there during the time Pol Pot was in power,” he explains. “They were fortunate to have survived and to escape the Khmer Rouge regime. They had sponsors from Richmond, Virginia, so they settled there for a bit, and then made their way to South Carolina, which is where I was born and raised, and they still live. Nobody in the family was musically inclined, but I played trumpet and French horn as a teenager, and then tried to make beats, using Fruity Loops, and recording into Cool Edit Pro and Sonar. Local rappers came to me to record their songs, and I noticed that I was better at the more technical side of making music. So in 2010, when I was 20, I went to Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, where I spent two years doing the Recording Arts programme.
In a statement on Facebook, he said: “The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U visa petition has been pending for 4 years.
While his undocumented status might have cast the musician as an unlikely champion for immigration reform, there is value in the fact that his life has not been a case study in the model immigrant narrative. All too often, the mentality around immigration hinges on whether a newcomer lives life as a “model citizen.” For instance, the story of Emmanuel Mensah, a Ghanaian immigrant who died saving his neighbors during a fire in the Bronx last year, sparked conversation about how valuable immigrants are to America.
ICE said 21 Savage is in custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings in federal immigration courts. A federal law enforcement source told CBS News that 21 Savage was arrested during an operation targeting another rapper, Young Nuddy (real name Quantavious Thomas), and two other men for reasons unrelated to the immigration arrest. All four men were pulled over in a vehicle and arrested.
SAVAGE: When I started to see how people have reacted to the music. Urban music is often a springboard for new producers and engineers, and 21 Savage’s chart-topping album was no exception.