21 Savage on ICE Detention, the Grammys and His Uncertain Future

21 Savage on ICE Detention, the Grammys and His Uncertain Future


What do you think has happened in your life that gave you a different perspective?

It was what was at stake. It’s like, I got three kids, my mama, everything that I know is here in Atlanta. I’m not leaving Atlanta without a fight. We gon’ fight all the way till the last day even if that mean I sit in jail for 10 years.

Were you upset about missing the Grammys?

Nah, I was stressed about getting out. The Grammys is the Grammys, but when you in jail, the Grammys is nothing. I got to watch it. By that time they had put a TV in my room.

Was the original plan that you’d be part of the Post Malone performance?

Yeah I was supposed to perform. He wore the 21 Savage shirt, so I felt like I was there. I don’t care what nobody say — everybody in that building who’s connected to this culture, I was on their mind in some type of way. That’s all that mattered. They didn’t have to say it ’cause everybody knew it. It was in the air. All the people that was there, they said the words in other places and that matter just as much. All the big artists was vocal about the situation, so I was appreciative. Even the memes.

They didn’t stress you out?

Some of them was funny — I ain’t gonna lie. I was appreciative of that. I coulda been another person who just, “He locked up? Damn,” and nobody said nothing. Some people, I see why they was mad. It ain’t about the meme, it’s about the bigger picture. But I done been through way worse things in my life than somebody putting me on a meme. I been shot — what is a meme? A meme is nothing. That’s something on the internet that I can do like this [turns over phone] and never see again. I look at bullet scars every day, so it’s like, a meme, bro?

Do you feel a responsibility to speak up about your circumstances?

Yeah, I feel a responsibility. My situation is important ’cause I represent poor black Americans and I represent poor immigrant Americans. You gotta think about all the millions of people that ain’t 21 Savage that’s in 21 Savage shoes.

Do you feel an urge to put some of this experience into music?

Not right now, ’cause I feel like me putting it into music got me in this situation, kind of.



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