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Savage (real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) was arrested by the U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2019 with a spokesperson claiming that Savage was a “United Kingdom national” who “is unlawfully present in the U.S.”
A statement from his representatives at the time confirmed that Savage had been born in London, with his visa expiring in 2006 “through no fault of his own”. He applied for a visa in 2017 once he discovered that he required one with ICE being aware of his home address the whole time.
His arrest caused backlash from Cardi B, Pusha T and Offset, with Jay-Z releasing a statement calling “the arrest and detention of 21 Savage an absolute travesty. His U-visa petition has been pending for four years. In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately. #Free21Savage”
Speaking about it in a new interview with Math Hoffa, Savage said: “They detained me because they said I had felony conviction, but the felony conviction got dismissed. And I called Meek while I was in jail and told Meek, ‘Bro, I just got locked up.’ He called Jay-Z, and Jay-Z put a lawyer on my case. He played a role in getting me out. He ain’t just doing that shit for anybody.
“I wasn’t nervous because I knew I didn’t do shit. I just wanted to get out. I’ve lived here since I was 7, where the hell else do you want me to go?”
He went on to say he thought the incident was because of his status. “When you rap about certain shit, you’re automatically a target. It comes with the territory though,” he added.
Elsewhere in the interview, Savage shared the financial advice he got from Jay-Z, with the rapper apparently telling him the top three things you can spend your money on are a chef, a doctor and a lawyer.
Savage started the year by releasing two new songs ‘No Debate’ and ‘Big Smoke’ and was joined by Post Malone onstage at Coachella. He’s also set to feature on ‘Cash In Cash Out‘, a new track from Pharrell that also features Tyler, The Creator. ‘Cash In Cash Out’ is released tomorrow (June 10)