Amid the release of his new album with Metro Boomin, Savage Mode II, 21 Savage appeared on Big Bank and DJ Scream’s show, Big Facts, where he discussed promoting financial literacy and his career. While on the show, the 27-year-old rapper also spoke on his immigration case.
The rapper was arrested early last year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under claims that he was an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who overstayed a visa that was only good for one year. Fortunately, 21 Savage was released but the rap star shared that the case is still ongoing and it's a real possibility that he could still be deported.
While he was doubtful that he’d be forced to leave the country, 21 Savage noted that he’d be in great financial shape regardless. In fact, the Atlanta-based rapper already has a contingency plan in mind.
“I don’t think that they gon’ do that,” he said. “But if they do, my money is going with me fa’ sho’. I’ll be alright. The money goes where [I] go. They got rich people over there [in the UK]. I’mma be one of them.”
He went on to joke that he would have all of his homies move with him overseas, adding, “Everybody gon’ want to come. They [are] not letting me go by myself.” On a more serious note, 21 Savage opened up about how the threat of deportation was one of the many obstacles he had to overcome as an immigrant in this country.
“People don’t know [what it's] like growing up in the hood and an immigrant. No matter what, you can’t go to college. You can’t get no license. You can’t get no job,” he explained. “My momma used to be scared to drive. Scared, but she had to drive. No license” he said. “My momma ain’t never had a license till I was probably like 24, 25 when I got some money and got her s**t straight.”
He continued, “Our struggle was different. It wasn’t no other option. I couldn’t go get a job. I couldn’t go to college. I couldn’t get a license. I just got my license when I was like 25, 26 years old.”
The rapper shared that he was touched by the support he saw from his peers during his legal ordeal. At the time of his arrest, Cardi B, Meek Mill, Vince Staples, Killer Mike tweeted out in support of his freedom. “When I got out, I really started to see all the love, and I'm like, ‘Damn, that's crazy,’” he said. “And I noticed all the fake love too, all the [people] who didn't show love. “So if you wondering why I've been stiff on you since I got out, it's 'cause you did not say ‘Free me!’”
Most notably, Jay-Z hired immigration lawyer Alex Shapiro to help with his case. When he was released, 21 Savage visited the Roc Nation mogul to express his appreciation.
“When I got out, I pulled up on Jay-Z at his house. Him and Beyoncé were in there. And we were kicking it. I just was thanking him,” 21 Savage said. “When I first got out, I texted him like, ‘I’mma pay you back.’ He was like, ‘I don't want your money.’ He said, ‘Pay me back by being great.’ So I pulled up on him, chopped it up, just thanked him and s**t like that, 'cause he ain't have to do that.”
Watch 21 Savage's Big Facts interview in full below.
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)