ATLANTA — Rapper 21 Savage was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta Sunday, sources say.
He was arrested hours before the Super Bowl in the city he calls his hometown.
The 26-year-old rapper, born Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph claimed to be from Atlanta like fellow rappers T.I., Big Boi, Andre 3000 and Gucci Mane.
However, Abraham-Jospeh is apparently from the United Kingdom. The rapper’s visa allegedly expired in 2006.
The agency alleges that he entered the US legally in July 2005, when he was a minor, but subsequently failed to depart under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa.
“Mr. Abraham-Joseph is presently in ICE custody in Georgia and has been placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” ICE said in a statement. “ICE will now await the outcome of his case before a federal immigration judge to determine future actions.”
Abraham-Joseph was also convicted on felony drug charges in October 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia, ICE said.
Cox said Abraham-Joseph was arrested in a targeted sting.
He performed at the Super Bowl Music Fest in Atlanta Thursday.
ICE’s allegation that Abraham-Joseph is British came as a shock to the artist’s fans, as he is most closely associated with Atlanta and its music scene. He 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. In “Bank Account,” for example, he raps that he is “straight up out the 6.”
This is a developing story. We will update this story with more details as more information becomes available.