21 Savage Speaks Out in His First Interview Since His ICE Detainment
"I ain't know what a visa was. I was seven when I first came here."
Screenshot from 'Good Morning America'
On Wednesday, 21 Savage was released from the South Georgia ICE detention center after being held for nine days. In an interview with Good Morning America, the Atlanta rapper gives his first interview since his release.
21 Savage, born She'yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in Atlanta during before the Super Bowl on February 3. In the interview with Good Morning America, the rapper doesn't remember much of what happened during his arrest. "I just was driving and I just seen guns and blue lights," he tells the show. "I was in the back of a car and I was gone." 21 says it wasn't made clear why officers were taking him or where he was going. "They didn't say nothing. They just said, 'We got Savage.'"
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested the rapper on claims that he was a U.K. citizen with an expired visa from 2005. Jay-Z and Roc Nation have even assembled a legal team to help 21 with his case. In a statement released by 21's legal team, the rapper moved to the states as a minor with his parents and "lost his legal status through no fault of his own." Charles Kuck, the rapper's attorney, claims 21 applied for a U visa in 2017 which was still pending. In the interview, 21 says his lawyers believe the arrest was targeted.
"I ain't know what a visa was," he told Good Morning America. "I was seven when I first came here. I knew I wasn't born here but I didn't know what that means as far as how I transitioned into an adult." Much of the initial shock of 21's arrest stemmed from the new information that the rapper was born in the U.K. "I wasn't hiding it. But I didn't want to get deported so I wasn't just finna be like, 'Hey, by the way, I wasn't born here.'"
21 details his time in the detention center, saying he was confined to one room all day. He still shares concerns that he could face deportation but is remaining optimistic. "[...] I done been through so much in my life I've learned to embrace the times when I'm down because they always build me up."
Kristin Corry is a staff writer for Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Noisey US.