21 savage

Earlier this month, 21 Savage, whose legal name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested by ICE for overstaying his visa. ICE claimed that Abraham-Joseph is originally from the UK.

The rapper’s legal team has continued to share updates regarding his status including that he’s never hidden his immigration status and a belief he was targeted. Most recently the rapper was granted bond with a deportation hearing pending, and now he’s reacting to the infamous memes sparked from his time in custody.

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Following being released on a $100,000 bond, he chatted with The New York Times about his time in custody, missing the Grammys and yes, even the memes.

When asked if he was upset about missing the awards show, 21 Savage revealed it was the least of his worries.

“Nah, I was stressed about getting out,“ he explains. “The Grammys is the Grammys, but when you in jail, the Grammys is nothing. I got to watch it. By that time they had put a TV in my room.”

Savage also clarified he was supposed to join Post Malone to perform their nominated single, “Rockstar” in the Red Hot Chili Peppers medley. He also touched on Malone’s decision to wear a shirt in solidarity and explained that he was appreciative about the attention his situation got, even down to the memes.

“Yeah I was supposed to perform,” he says. “He wore the 21 Savage shirt, so I felt like I was there. I don’t care what nobody say—everybody in that building who’s connected to this culture, I was on their mind in some type of way. That’s all that mattered. They didn’t have to say it ’cause everybody knew it. It was in the air. All the people that was there, they said the words in other places and that matter just as much. All the big artists was vocal about the situation, so I was appreciative. Even the memes.“

When asked if the memes stressed him out, Savage explained he was taking it in stride. Despite the memes dividing the internet, he explained yet again there are bigger things to worry about.

“Some of them was funny—I ain’t gonna lie. I was appreciative of that. I coulda been another person who just, ‘He locked up? Damn,’ and nobody said nothing. Some people, I see why they was mad. It ain’t about the meme, it’s about the bigger picture. But I done been through way worse things in my life than somebody putting me on a meme. I been shot—what is a meme? A meme is nothing. That’s something on the internet that I can do like this [turns over phone] and never see again. I look at bullet scars every day, so it’s like, a meme, bro?”

You can see some examples of the memes that were shared following his arrest below.

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