21 Savage has vowed not to leave his adopted hometown of Atlanta, insisting he will “sit in jail to fight to live where I’ve been living my whole life.”
The British national, real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was released from jail on 13 February after spending 10 days in confinement after he was arrested in the Georgia capital for overstaying his visa.
And in a new interview with The New York Times, the rapper insisted he won’t leave America without a fight.
Of his thoughts during his detention, Abraham-Joseph explained: “All that just going through your head, like, ‘Damn, I love my house, I ain’t gonna be able to go in my house no more? I ain’t gonna be able to go to my favorite restaurant that I been going to for 20 years straight?’ That’s the most important thing. If you tell me, ‘I’ll give you 20 million to go stay somewhere you ain’t never stayed,’ I’d rather be broke. I’ll sit in jail to fight to live where I’ve been living my whole life.
“I’m not leaving Atlanta without a fight. We gon’ fight all the way till the last day even if that means I sit in jail for 10 years.”
The rapper came to Atlanta as a child, moving from the “poor side of London”, and was mocked on his first day of school because of his British accent. But it wasn’t until he was 16 that he became aware of his immigration status. Upon learning of the fact he didn’t have the correct visa, the musician learned to live without having a legitimate job or being able to get a driver’s license.
And reflecting on why he never worked to sort out his citizenship, he mused: “It felt impossible. It got to the point where I just learned to live without it. ‘Cause I still ain’t got it, I’m 26, and I’m rich. So, just learned to live without it.
“Even if you got money, it ain’t easy. It ain’t no favouritism, and I respect it, I honestly respect it. It would be kind of messed up if they treated rich immigrants better than poor immigrants, I think.”
He also added that his uncertain journey in life has made him who he is today, explaining: “I wouldn’t write it no other way if I had the choice. I still want to go through this right here ’cause it made me who I am, it made me strong.”