21 Savage (born Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) has finally been released from detainment by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on bond, reports TMZ. The rapper’s lawyers, Charles H. Kuck, Dina LaPolt, and Alex Spiro released a statement on his behalf. “21 Savage asked us to send a special message to his fans and supporters – he says that while he wasn’t present at the Grammy Awards, he was there in spirit and is grateful for the support from around the world and is more than ever, ready to be with his loved ones and continue making music that brings people together,” it reads.
21 Savage was detained on February 3 by ICE for being in the United States illegally from the United Kingdom. A spokesman for the agency later revealed that the rapper’s visa expired in 2006. His representatives clarified that while the rapper was born in the United Kingdom, he’s been in the United States since seven years old and had applied for a U Visa in 2017. Fans and public figures noted that 21 Savage’s detainment came soon after his performance of “A Lot” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in which he changed some of the song’s lyrics to talk about the immigration situation in the United States (“Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border/Flint still need water/People was innocent, couldn’t get lawyers”).
Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Metro Boomin, a longtime friend and collaborator of 21 Savage, publicly protested against the rapper’s detainment by wearing a jacket with “FREE 21 SAVAGE” painted on the back during a performance of “Space Cadet” with Gunna. For the length of the performance, and even afterward following Jimmy Fallon’s handshake, Boomin made it a point for the message to remain in the camera frame by keeping his back facing it. This three-minute acknowledgment of the situation is much longer than the recognition that 21 Savage got at the 61st Grammy Awards. Over the course of the three-hour event, only one person (Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson) mentioned the rapper’s detainment.