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ICE arrests rapper 21 Savage, says he's in country illegally

Reportedly hails from the UK, not Atlanta as he has claimed

Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images

Grammy-nominated Rapper 21 Savage was arrested by ICE early Sunday and taken into custody for possible deportation from the U.S., according to published reports.

What happened?

Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph — that's his real name — is accused of being in the U.S. illegally because his visa expired in 2006, TMZ reported. The 26-year-old was also convicted on felony drug charges in 2014.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson told WSB-TV that Abraham-Joseph is currently in ICE custody in Georgia. He's also undergoing removal proceedings before federal immigration courts. According to the spokesperson, the rapper is "unlawfully present United Kingdom national" who legally entered the U.S. in July 2005 on a visa. But his visa expired a year later.

It was not immediately known what United Kingdom country or territory he's from. The rap star has long claimed to be from Atlanta, Georgia.

ICE is reportedly waiting for the outcome of his case before a judge before any additional actions are set in motion.

In a statement obtained by WSB-TV, Abraham-Joseph's attorney, Dina LaPolt, stated:

We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with the authorities to clear up any misunderstandings. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in this country, especially in Atlanta, Georgia, and is actively working in the community -leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.

Last fall, Abraham-Joseph donated school supplies to more than 2,500 DeKalb County school students.

Anything else?

Abraham-Joseph has said the 21 in his name refers to a street gang in Decatur, Georgia, which is northeast of Atlanta.

Additionally, his songs have often referred to his connection to East Atlanta's Zone 6. Lyrics from his song "Bank Account, from his 2017 album "Issa Album," state that he is "straight up out the 6." The rapper's second album "I Am > I Was" came out in December 2018.

21 Savage is featured on the song "Rockstar" by Post Malone, the Grammy-nominated Record of the Year and Best Rap Performance.

One last thing…
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