Hip-hop is continuing to band together against the unjust U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s detainment of Atlanta rap artist 21 Savage, and it’s taking tenacious strides to help move him closer to freedom.
Prayers and petitions have gone up in the name of the 26-year-old father of three as well, resulting in nearly 400,000 signatures calling for the immediate release of 21 from ICE custody and against his possible deportation back to the U.K. where he was born, but not raised. Of the several industry members speaking out for him, the first from hip-hop’s icon-studded Roc Nation roster to address 21’s situation was J. Cole, who lent his hand in prayer for the I Am > I Was rapper upon the news. As for Cole’s Roc Nation honcho Jay-Z, he’s lending his hand even further by lawyering 21 up with immigration-expertised attorney, Alex Spiro.
Especially considering that his U Visa petition has been in the pipeline for four years now. “In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediatedly,” Jay’s statement reads. Spiro’s exclusive statement to TMZ upholds these sentiments, reiterating that they will go to the most difficult means to ensure 21’s freedom from ICE custody. “We are not going to stop until he is released, bonded out or in front of a judge,” the site reports of his statement. “What we have here is someone who overstayed their Visa with an application pending for four years—not a convicted criminal that needs to be detained and removed but, by all accounts a wonder person, father and entertainer who has a marijuana offense which was vacated and sealed.” Not to mention, TMZ adds, 21 also reapplied for a U Visa in 2017, which some believe set off an alert for officials to dig into his background, and ultimately, resulted in the ICE arrest.
(Photos from left: Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images, Paras Griffin/Getty Images)