“Atlanta we have to do better[,] put the f****** guns down,” tweeted the rapper, who grew up in Georgia, on Monday (August 8). While many were supportive of 21’s comments, one fan brought up lyrics from his recent Drake collaboration ‘Jimmy Crooks’, quoting the rapper’s line: “Spin a block twice/Like it ain’t nowhere to park.”
Replying to the fan directly, Savage defended his work, arguing that a song “is for an entertainment” and is “not an instruction manual on how to live life.” He continued: “In real life I give away a lot of money and spread financial literacy to my community. Stop trying to make me 1 dimensional.”
A Song Is For Entertainment It’s Not An Instruction Manual On How To Live Life
In Real Life I Give Away A lot Of Money And Spread Financial Literacy To My Community Stop Trying To Make Me 1 Dimensional
— Saint Laurent Don (@21savage) August 8, 2022
The rapper has since given a more detailed response, hitting back at critics who labelled him a hypocrite. “When I say something about how I really feel about Atlanta, where I’m from, it’s a lot of gun violence,” the rapper said recently while live on Instagram.
“[There are a] lot of killings and shootings going on. I ain’t never seen nothing like this. My whole life, being in Atlanta, I ain’t never seen it at this point that it’s at right now,” he added. “It makes me depressed.
“But when I speak up on that, they say, ‘Oh, you a hypocrite, you this, you that.’ I ain’t never promoted violence. I just rap about what I’ve been through, or what I’ve heard about, what I’ve saw. That ain’t me promoting violence. That’s not me saying, ‘Yeah, violence is cool,’ or whatever. Yeah, I say a lot of shit on songs.”
“If I started making music about Jesus Christ and turkey drives and shit like that, how many fans would I have? Zero. How would I be able to feed my family? Y’all got to be realistic,” 21 continued.
The rapper went on to point out that a lot of young people who came from environments where violence was present had found a way to support their families as well as their communities by making rap. “Would y’all rather all the young rappers, no matter what they rap about… would y’all rather them still be in the ghetto and be killed, or go to jail?” he questioned.
21 went on to discuss the philanthropic and community-based efforts that he participates in. “I love giving back. I just don’t talk about it a lot,” he said. “All my good deeds that I do, I don’t send them to the blogs to get liked because of it or to get attention.”
Indeed, Savage hosted the seventh annual Issa Back 2 School Drive in his hometown of Decatur, GA recently. The drive, a partnership with his Leading By Example Foundation, saw him gift over 2000 young students and their families school supplies and services ahead of the upcoming 2022-23 school years.
It’s always great to be with @21savage each year for his Annual Back To School Giveaway in DeKalb! For 7 years, he has put on this amazing event providing school supplies for our precious youth! Keep up the great work 👍🏾🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/vdBdrB6vAw
— Mereda Davis Johnson (@meredadjohnson) August 7, 2022
“I’m gonna rap about whatever I wanna rap about, at the end of the day,” Savage concluded in the message to his detractors. “It’s a lot of killing going on, but it’s not the whole world,” he said.