Rapper 21 Savage targeted because he slammed Donald Trump over US migrant crisis in new song, star’s lawyer claims
RAPPER 21 Savage may have been targeted by US immigration officials because he blasted Donald Trump in a new song, his lawyers have claimed.
The rapper, who claimed to hail from a tough US neighbourhood, was arrested on Sunday for being in America illegally after he was found to be British.
During a performance of the song ‘A Lot’ on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, 21 Savage changed the lyrics to the song to take a shot at U.S. border policies under President Trump
The British-born, Grammy-nominated musician was arrested in AtlantaInstagram
21 Savage (right) as a young boy in London pictured with his father Kevin and twin sisters
His manager said he was being held in lockdown for 23 hours a day
The star, 26 – nominated for two awards at next week’s Grammys – could face deportation. Rapper 21 Savage is being held in federal immigration custody.
His lawyers suggested he’d been targeted by US immigration officials because he attacked them in a new song.
During a performance of the song ‘A Lot’ on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, 21 Savage changed the lyrics to the song to take a shot at U.S. border policies under President Trump.
“Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border, Flint still need water, People was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers,” he rapped.
Did you know 21 Savage before he was a famous rapper? Do you have details of his true background? Contact us on [email protected] / 0207 782 4569
A statement released on Tuesday and signed by his six-strong legal team states: “There continues to be no legal reason to detain Mr Abraham-Joseph for a civil law violation that occurred when he was a minor, especially when people in his exact situation are routinely released by ICE.
“Many have speculated as to possible ulterior motives for his arrest and detention, including that he released music five days prior to his arrest by ICE, which included new lyrics condemning the behaviour of immigration officials for their detention of children at the border.
“We are unaware of why ICE apparently targeted Mr Abraham-Joseph, but we will do everything possible to legally seek his release and pursue his available relief in immigration court.”
Elsewhere today his manager claimed the rapper was held on lockdown for 23 hours a day.
Stone Mound Meezy tweeted: “He is in lockdown for 23hrs of the day no tv or any communication besides our 10 min phone calls”.
He later deleted the tweet.
MOVED TO US AGED 12 ON ONE-YEAR VISA
The rapper claimed to have grown up in a crime-hit community in Atlanta, Georgia, taking a gun to school at 11 or 12 before joining a street gang.
But his birth certificate shows he was born in Newham, east London, in 1992 to UK-born parents Heather Joseph and Kevin Emmons and named Sheyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph.
He moved to the US with mum Heather in 2005 aged 12 on a one-year visa.
US immigration chiefs ICE said it was not renewed, adding: “His public persona is false.”
‘EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG TIES’ TO THE US
However his lawyers said he lost his legal immigrant status in 2006 “through no fault of his own” and should be eligible to fight his removal from the country in court.
21 Savage, 26, has three children who are US citizens, his legal team say, as well as his mum being a lawful resident and four siblings who are either permanent residents or citizens.
They argue the rapper has “exceptionally strong ties” to his adopted country.
And he is in the process of obtaining a U visa – a visa for victims of crime – because he was the victim of a deadly shooting in 2013, the statement adds.
They said ICE should release 21 Savage from custody and delay his removal from the country while he awaits to hear back on the visa,
They also dispute ICE’s claim the rapper has a criminal conviction [for drug charges in 2014].
HARD-HITTING LYRICS ABOUT GUNS AND CRIME
Until Sunday the rapper was believed to have been born and raised in Atlanta, the city he used as inspiration for his hard-hitting lyrics about guns and crime.
In an interview with Fader magazine in 2016, he painted a grim picture of a crime-ridden upbringing in Georgia.
The article referenced him growing up in “beat up apartments” in Atlanta and being shown his first gun at the age of eight by his uncle.
He also brags about being the youngest pupil ever to take a gun to Stone Mountain Middle School in DeKalb County, Georgia, when he was 11 or 12.
The star claims to have been sent to a youth detention centre in Georgia, before dropping out of school and joining a street gang.
He was allegedly involved in robbery, grand theft auto and drug dealing, and aged 19 he lost his best friend and right-hand man Larry in a shootout.
On his 21st birthday he was shot six times himself in a failed assassination attempt, which led to him taking the name 21 Savage.
In another interview he said the ‘21’ in his name is a reference to a street gang in the city and his songs often refer to his past in East Atlanta’s Zone 6.
But records revealed the rapper, one of 11 children born to his mum Heather, was born in London.
$8 MILLION RAP STAR
21 Savage, a dad-of-three, has been nominated for two awards at the 2019 Grammys, including record of the year for Rockstar with Post Malone – the track reached No 1 in the US and UK singles charts.
In December his second album, I Am > I Was, debuted at No 1 on the US Billboard 200.
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He is worth about $8 million.
Stars from the world of hip hop have shared their shock at 21 Savage’s detainment, with US rappers including Lil Yachty and Meek Mill calling for him to be freed from custody.
Some spread memes around social media which poked fun at his British heritage.
The rapper took a swipe at the President in a live performance of his new songAP:Associated Press
Pictured is the birth certificate showing he was born in NewhamThe Sun Online
21 Savage aged around 12 photographed in London
21 Savage pictured with his British mum Heather Joseph
21 Savage’s London-based twin sisters, Kyra and Jayda
21 Savage poses with a gun on Instagram
Getty – Contributor Rapper 21 Savage has been arrested by US immigration officials – because he’s British[/caption]
Rex Features The rapper, pictured with ex Amber Rose in 2017[/caption]
Splash News 21 Savage, real name Abraham-Joseph, is in custody in Georgia and faces deportation proceedings[/caption]
21 Savage pictured firing a gun at a shooting range
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