21 Savage is free at last but his fight to maintain his residence in the United States continues on. He recently sat down with The New York Times for an article published on Sunday (Feb. 17) and opened up about growing up an undocumented immigrant, his fear of being deported and his future.
It has been established that 21 Savage was actually born in the U.K. and came over to the States in 2004 on a non-immigrant visa. He overstayed his residency and the matter came to a head when he was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3) and taken into ICE custody.
Currently out on bond, 21 talked about his youth as an immigrant in Atlanta. "I had a accent, ’cause my first day of school they was making fun of me so I beat somebody up, and they was calling me 'taekwondo kid,'" he revealed. "My mama whupped me, she made me stay in the house. So I know I had a accent, but I been here 20 years — I don’t know what happened to it."
He added, "We struggled but we couldn’t get food stamps, we couldn’t get government assistance. I learned how to live without. You know in school, when you get to a certain age, your clothes make you popular? I learned how to be popular without that. People respected me just for me."
The "A Lot" rapper said the prospect of being deported has hung over his head for years. "Yeah, for sure. It’s like my worst nightmare," he said. "That’s why it’s always been trying to get corrected. Even if you got money, it ain’t easy. It ain’t no favoritism, and I respect it, I honestly respect it. It would be kind of messed up if they treated rich immigrants better than poor immigrants, I think."
21 revealed the worst part about this whole ordeal is him possibly having the leave his family and the place he knows as home. "It really wasn’t jail, it was the possibility of me not being able to live in this country no more that I’ve been living in my whole life," he added. "All that just going through your head, like, 'Damn, I love my house, I ain’t gonna be able to go in my house no more? I ain’t gonna be able to go to my favorite restaurant that I been going to for 20 years straight?' That’s the most important thing. If you tell me, 'I’ll give you 20 million to go stay somewhere you ain’t never stayed,” I’d rather be broke. I’ll sit in jail to fight to live where I’ve been living my whole life.'"
21 Savage is currently awaiting a court hearing to see if he will be able to stay Stateside. Peep the entire New York Times interview.