The world of rap music has a very much established stereotype and most of the rappers who make it to the limelight usually have a lot of similarities in their stories and 21 Savage is not different.
Especially popular with the younger fan base, the young rapper has a checkered past and present, having grown up in a rough neighbourhood. However, he has and is still succeeding in using his own narrative to create a picture of success that his fans and other rap heads can be inspired by. He is most known for his popular mixtape Slaughter King, released in 2015 and his singles X and Bank Account.
Who Exactly Is 21 Savage?
21 Savage’s real name is Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph. He is of Dominican ethnicity, born on October 22, 1992, to his mom, Heather, in Lesser, Antilles, in the Caribbean. His family is a very large one as he grew up with ten siblings: six sisters and four brothers, whom he says he got along with very well.
Growing up, 21 developed a notorious personality, one that eventually earned him a permanent ban from the DeKalb County School District. The incident that caused the ban was that he had brought a gun to school to scare a kid who had mouthed off about him. After that, no school – even the ones outside the DeKalb School district, wanted him. 21 Savage says he never felt right at school, he never felt the motivation to be active and do well.
Somehow, he was forcefully enrolled in different schools in Atlanta Metropolitan area but his issues with the school authorities continued until he was finally sent to a youth detention facility in hopes that this would help him plot a positive plan in his life.
Shéyaa Bin, aka 21 Savage, was involved in a lot of severe crimes, including anything from armed robbery to using and selling drugs and illegal firearm possession. At the time, he had lost hope of his life ever having any meaning, so, he focused on making it to the top cadre in his gang, the “Bloods”.
21 Savage at a Glance
How 21 Savage Turned To Music
21, who named himself after his own gang number was a die-hard Bloods member and refused to turn away from the gang life. Even the death of one of his brothers, Tay Man, during a drug deal shoot-out, wasn’t enough for 21 Savage to make a turnaround. His brother’s death inspired his forehead tattoo. The dagger tattoo on his forehead is the symbol of the crew his brother belonged to.
However, in 2013, he finally made the decision to change. He was involved in an attempted robbery with his best friend and barely escaped with his life after sustaining six gunshot wounds. His best friend wasn’t so lucky.
Shéyaa turned to music as his therapy and his way out of his doomed life. He slaved away writing and recording music at Patchwerk Studios. Key!, a rapper from Atlanta who loved his sound introduced him to DJ Plugg who produced his debut single in November of 2014. He would go on to release his first mixtape, The Slaughter Tape, a 14-track free album in May 2015. 21 Savage released two more projects that year. The first was a joint effort with Sonny Digital, titled Free Guwop, in honour of his rap icon and influence, Gucci Mane. The second was his follow-up mixtape, Slaughter King.
XXL magazine named Savage as one of the members of the “Freshmen Class” of 2016. This was a big boost to his career. His biggest EP success came a month later when he released his project, Savage Mode, produced by Metro Boomin. It peaked at the No.23 spot on the Billboard 200. The album also produced his first platinum record, a track titled X which he did with the rapper Future.
All this success brought Epic Records to his doorsteps. In January 2017, 21 Savage announced that he had signed with them. He followed this up with the release of his debut studio album titled Issa Album. This project opened at No.2 on the US Billboard 200. The lead single from the album, Bank Account also made it to No.20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
His next album, Without Warning, a joint effort with producer Metro Boomin and Offset landed on the No.4 spot on the US Billboard 200 and received largely positive reviews. 21 Savage has garnered other achievements, including gracing the cover of Fader and making a chart-topping song with Post Malone. He has a rap group of like-minded rappers called Slaughter Gang. Also, he performed his hit single, X, at the 2016 BET HipHop Awards.
On December 21, 2018, 21 Savage released his next album titled I Am > I Was. This album turned out to be the rappers first No.1 album as it debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. On the Billboard 100, the album also peaked at the No.12 spot.
The Rapper’s Arrest And Deportation Claims
Everyone who knows the rapper naturally believed him to be an Atlanta native until his arrest by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on February 3, 2019. After his arrest, the ICE released a statement that claimed that Savage was actually a British citizen and had been in the country illegally since his non-immigrant visa expired in 2006. Details of the rapper’s birthplace were reported by Reuters, claiming the uncovering of his birth certificate in a London registry office that recorded his birthplace as Newham, London.
Following ICE’s statement, the rapper’s camp released a statement confirming that 21 Savage was indeed a British national. However, they also stated that Savage had been trying to renew his visa since 2017 as soon as he became aware that he needed one. According to reports from his camp, the rapper had come to the US at the age of seven and briefly returned to the UK for a month sometime in 2005.
The rapper consequently received some support from high places. One of these was a letter from Congressman Hank Johnson to the immigration Judge in charge of 21’s case. In the letter, the Congressman asked for the release of the rapper, stating his good standing with and contribution to the local community. The rapper’s lawyer, Charles Kuck, also called the detention of the rapper a civil law violation. He stated that they were trying to bully the rapper into giving up the right to fight to remain in the country.
21 Savage On His Love For His Mother And Kids
21’s mother, Heather Abraham-Joseph is his backbone and support to this day. He frequently talks about how grateful he is for her and for her support. He occasionally recalls during interviews, how strong his mother was for all of them after his brother’s death and throughout his violent past.
The rapper also has a family of his own. On February 13, 2017, 21 did an interview with the YouTube channel, Complex, titled “21 Savage Goes Sneaker Shopping with Complex.” During the interview, he admitted that he has three kids, although he did not say much about them. The rapper posts about them regularly on his Instagram though.
Dalliance With Amber Rose
Savage’s most publicised relationship was with Amber Rose, the curvaceous diva who has built herself a reputation as a serial dater of rappers. She has also made a name for herself as a model and an actress. She was also once a wife to rapper Wiz Khalifa.
Although Savage and Amber had already been spotted numerous times by fans and the media on various outings, they took their time before finally announcing that they were in fact, an item. The announcement was made in mid-2017. Fans soon began to notice that his time with Amber seemed to be bringing out his softer side, sadly, as many fans noted, it was at the expense of his reputation as ‘Savage’. However, as is often the case with relationships involving Rose, they soon called it quits a year later. Although they made the announcement in mid-2018, People had already stated in March 2018 that they were no longer together. Amber and Savage maintain that it was an amicable split and that they remain best of friends.
Outside the rapper’s relationship with Amber Rose, he has stayed tight-lipped on his other relationships, if any. The closest he has come to admitting other relationships after Amber was during an interview with WMagazine’s Sixty LES hotel in New York at the Sixty LES hotel in New York. When Howard asked him if he was seeing anyone again. The rapper replied with a smile, saying that he was in about eight different relationships. How much of that admission was true, we may never know.
Some Of His High Profile Connections
Savage enjoys a good relationship with some of the biggest musical artists in the industry. Drake, at one point, wanted to sign him to his own record label, OVO records. Savage was flattered to acknowledge it. The famous rapper also bought Savage a brand new Ferrari in 2016 to celebrate his 24th birthday. The sports car made it into Drake’s music video for his single “Sneakin'” in which he featured 21 Savage. The song was released just a week after 21 received the car.
Besides Drake though, the rapper has also cast his net wide and has garnered for himself some serious A-list connections in the music industry. His long list of associations include names like Post Malone, Metro Boomin, Childish Gambino, Offset, J. Cole, Schoolboy Q, Gunna, Travis Scott and a host of others.
He’s Definitely About The Luxurious Lifestyle
Savage’s appearance is nice – or at least interesting to look at. With his distinctively marked up body, jewellery and his 5 ft 8 inches tall build, he is often a fascinating sight to behold.
He loves to show off his money. He has once been spotted walking down the street with a bundle of cash to the tune of $250,000 in his hand which he spent on a $200,000 Rolex watch and some jewellery. Apart from revenue coming from his touring and merchandise sales on his personal website, 21 Savage said in an interview that he rakes in $25,000 for every performance.
Reports suggest that 21 nests up in his colossal home on the northwest side of Atlanta with a net worth valued at anywhere between $4 million to $6 million.