21 Savage attends The “2021 Soul Train Awards” Presented By BET at The Apollo Theater on November 20, 2021 in New York City.
Source: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

21 Savage Faced Deportation — Update on His Green Card Conundrum

21 Savage was at risk of being deported — but does he finally have his green card? Read for an update on the rapper's immigration status.


Oct. 23 2023, Updated 5:54 p.m. ET

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It's no secret that Britain-born rapper 21 Savage was in immigration limbo for a few years. Who can forget when news that he might be deported hit the internet streets?

Amid the rapper's legal troubles, laughable memes surfaced on social media that left the internet in shambles.

However, according to reports, those days are long behind 21. After years of grappling with immigration-related challenges, it seems like the UK-born rapper has finally gotten relief.

In late 2023, Drake released his single, "8 AM in Charlotte," from his highly-anticipated album, For All the Dogs. In the song, he shed light on fellow rapper 21 Savage's immigration status.

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"Savage got a green card straight out of the consulate / Where I go, you go, brother, we Yugoslavian," Drake rapped. The lyric leads fans to wonder what's really going on with 21's immigration status.

So, what's the truth? Read on to find out!

Source: Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage

21 Savage and Drake perform onstage.

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UK-born rapper 21 Savage previously faced deportation — here's why

The revelation that 21 Savage wasn't born in the United States took the music world by surprise in 2019 when was arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for having an expired visa and a criminal record.

Luckily for the rapper, the case was eventually dismissed. But that didn't change the fact that he wasn't actually a legal resident in the U.S.

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Born in the United Kingdom, 21 Savage relocated to the United States at age seven.

Despite his British roots, he previously identified himself as an Atlanta native. It was there that he built his identity and eventually launched his music career. He went viral after the release of his single, "No Heart," in 2016, gaining recognition in the hip-hop scene.

Since his deportation debacle, 21 Savage has been vocal about his legal trouble — and who helped him get out of it!

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savage microphone on stage
Source: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

British rapper 21 Savage performs onstage during day two of Rolling Loud Miami at Hard Rock Stadium.

These rappers helped 21 Savage get his green card

In an interview with Matt Hoffa on My Expert Opinion, 21 Savage talked about getting into trouble with the authorities and explained what really happened after his arrest.

“They detained me because they said I had a felony conviction, but the felony conviction got dismissed," he said, adding, "I called [Meek Mill] while I was in jail and told Meek, ‘Bro, I just got locked up.’"

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The rapper recalled: "He called Jay-Z, and Jay-Z put a lawyer on my case. He played a role in getting me out. He ain’t just doing that s--t for anybody just 'cause you rap."

"You gotta be [cut] from a certain cloth… I don’t feel like he’s just doing that for anybody. I ain’t Roc Nation or none of that s--t," he went on.

The U.S. immigration process has many challenges and 21 Savage's situation mirrored that truth. The rapper is no different than others who have lived most of their lives in the U.S. but have still encountered immigration-related roadblocks.

His newly issued green card grants him the legal status he needs to continue his music career without the looming threat of getting deported. And we love to see it.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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