21 Savage has recalled having a British accent as a child in a recent interview.
The 26-year-old rapper – real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham Joseph – was arrested by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this month, after the department claimed that he is a British citizen who “is unlawfully present in the U.S.” from overstaying his visa.
Now, following his release from custody, Savage has spoken of his childhood and said he remembers having a British accent at school.
“I had an accent, ’cause my first day of school [in America] they was making fun of me so I beat somebody up, and they was calling me ‘taekwondo kid,’” he told the New York Times.
The Atlanta-based artist went on to say that he’s unable to pin down when his accent changed, as he’s now been in the U.S for two decades.
“My mama whupped me, she made me stay in the house,” he added. “So I know I had an accent, but I been here 20 years — I don’t know what happened to it.”
Elsewhere in the chat, the rapper discussed the multiple memes made about him following his arrest. “Some of them was funny — I ain’t gonna lie,” he said.
“I was appreciative of that. I coulda been another person who just, ‘He locked up? Damn,’ and nobody said nothing. Some people, I see why they was mad. It ain’t about the meme, it’s about the bigger picture.”
Earlier this month Savage’s lawyers confirmed that he was born in London, clarifying that he moved to the U.S with his parents in 1999 at the age of 7. They said that his legal status in the country expired back in 2006 “through no fault of his own”.
21 Savage, who is the father of three children, could still face deportation from the country.