ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities in Atlanta say rapper 21 Savage is in federal immigration custody.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox says the Grammy-nominated artist, whose given name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in a targeted operation early Sunday in the Atlanta area.
Cox says Abraham-Joseph is a British citizen who entered the U.S. legally in July 2005 but overstayed his visa, which expired in July 2006. Cox said Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in Georgia in October 2014. This would mean he came to the U.S. at 12 years old, and has been in Atlanta ever since, but most fans though he was from there originally and are stunned.
The arrest came months after the December release of 21 Savage’s I Am> I Was album, which became his first U.S. #1 release. His video for “A Lot” which features J. Cole, was just released.
Cox says Abraham-Joseph has been placed in deportation proceedings in federal immigration court.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding,” Dina LaPolt, his attorney, told TMZ.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.”
Abraham-Joseph is nominated for two awards at next week’s Grammys, including record of the year for “Rockstar” alongside Post Malone.
Abraham-Joseph, who dated Amber Rose and has three children, performed in Atlanta Thursday at the Super Bowl Music Fest.