Exclusive: 21 Savage breaks silence on British roots

21 Savage's American Dream Tour Hits LA's Kia Forum
21 Savage's American Dream Tour Hits LA's Kia Forum / Jerritt Clark/GettyImages

In a plot twist that stunned fans, 21 Savage, the Atlanta-based rap superstar, was revealed to have a secret British origin. The Atlanta-based rapper Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph was born in London, England. The 30-year-old artist has been a fixture in hip-hop since his breakout mixtape "The Slaughter Tape" in 2015.

However, throughout his meteoric rise to fame, he has carefully maintained an image of a hardened Atlanta native, leaving many fans and critics unaware of his origins. The rapper, known for his gritty lyrics and captivating performances, has kept this hidden truth under wraps for years. But why the secrecy? Let’s delve into 21 Savage's intriguing backstory and explore the reasons behind his clandestine past.

The arrest that unveiled It all

A few years ago, 21 Savage found himself in an unexpected predicament. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrested him, leaving fans bewildered. Why would immigration authorities be interested in a successful rapper? The shocking revelation followed: 21 Savage was born in England and arrived in the United States as a child. His stay in the country had been unauthorized, making him an unwitting outlaw.

Legal battles and a transatlantic journey

Undeterred by his legal woes, 21 Savage fought for his freedom. He emerged victorious, securing release from ICE containment. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Determined to set things right, he obtained official US citizenship. With newfound legitimacy, he embarked on his first-ever European tour, gracing stages in Paris and his hometown, London. The music video for his hit song “redrum” was even shot on British soil, adding an artistic twist to his narrative.

The reason behind the secrecy

In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone magazine, 21 Savage candidly discussed his decision to keep his British background a secret.

"I didn't want to be judged," he confessed. "I thought people might not take me seriously because of the accent and everything."

The rapper, who moved to Atlanta at the age of 7, revealed that he faced significant challenges in adapting to his new surroundings.

"It was tough, man. I had to learn how to fit in, how to talk like everybody else. I couldn't let people know I was from London."

Also, in a recent Instagram comment, 21 Savage addressed the burning question: Why did he keep his British origins a secret? His response was refreshingly straightforward:

" Why tf would I tell y’all I’m here illegally?"

Fans rallied behind his logic, emphasizing that his talent transcends borders. Whether London-born or Atlanta-raised, 21 Savage’s impact on hip-hop remains undeniable.

The impact on his music and persona

Despite his efforts to conceal his British roots, 21 Savage's experiences have undoubtedly shaped his music and persona. His gritty, introspective lyrics often touch on themes of struggle, survival, and the harsh realities of life in Atlanta's inner city.

"My music is a reflection of my life," he explained. "Even though I wasn't born in Atlanta, I've lived that life. I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's what I write about."

Despite the controversy surrounding his British origins, 21 Savage remains focused on his music and his future. He has vowed to continue creating the raw, honest lyrics that have made him one of the most respected artists in the game.

"At the end of the day, I'm still the same person," he said. "My music is still real, and it still comes from the heart. That's never going to change."As for his British accent, 21 Savage has no plans to bring it back. "I'm an Atlanta rapper now," he said with a smile. "The accent stays in London."

As we dissect 21 Savage’s journey from London streets to Atlanta stages, one thing is clear: His dual identity adds depth to his artistry. While some may debate his hometown, fans recognize that music knows no boundaries. So, whether you’re vibing to “Bank Account” or “a lot,” remember that 21 Savage’s story is a testament to resilience, creativity, and the power of authenticity.