Rapper 21 Savage has opened up for the first time about his arrest by immigration authorities, saying that he "was definitely targeted."
The breakout star, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham Joseph, was arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on February 4 2019 after they said he was a UK citizen "unlawfully present" in America.
The Rockstar rapper still faces deportation, but was released on bond on Tuesday after over a week in jail, and sat down with ABC's Good Morning America to get candid about the ordeal.
TOMORROW: AN @ABC EXCLUSIVE: @21savage, who was arrested and detained by ICE, speaks out to @LinseyDavis after his release and says he was "definitely targeted": "They just said, 'We got Savage.'" https://t.co/UylOGGD1Pg pic.twitter.com/2ULhiG2jZp
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 14, 2019
Reporter Linsey Davis spoke to the 26-year-old about the arrest, saying "‘I don’t know. I was just driving and I just saw guns and blue lights. And, then, I was in the back of a car. And I was gone."
He elaborated on ICE's actions; "They didn’t — they didn’t say nothing. They just said, “We got Savage”. It was definitely targeted." He also mentioned that there was a "helicopter" circling overhead during his arrest.
21 Savage's legal team said in a statement:
"For the past 9 long days, on behalf of She’yaa Bin Abraham Joseph, known to the world as 21 Savage, have been speaking with ICE to both clarify his legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society."
The statement concluded, "Today, 21 Savage was granted a release on bond. He won his freedom."
He was seen boarding a private jet with his mother Heather soon after he was let go from ICE custody. He jetted back to his home in Atlanta, Georgia, but now awaits a hearing regarding his possible deportation.
ICE's accusation that Abraham-Joseph is a British citizen came as a shock to the artist's fans, as he is clearly associated with Atlanta's music scene.
He previously has said the "21" in his name is a reference to a street gang in Decatur, and his songs often refer to his past in East Atlanta's Zone 6. ICE allege that he has overstayed his Visa by a decade.