21 Savage: From Famed Rapper to Deported Immigrant

Liana Giacobbe '20

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Following 21 Savage’s recent arrest on February 3rd, there was an uproar in the media covering topics ranging from the rapper’s alleged illegal success in the U.S., to the legitimacy of the United States’ current immigration system, to even a wide variety of memes. However, upon examining this incident on a deeper level, what does this mean for the attention brought to immigration policies in the United States?

Because of 21’s recognition by many citizens, there was a focus on the effects of immigration policies on him; no one wanted to see him deported due to his talent and influence among the Hip-Hop, Rap, and R&B crowds. However, as Anthony Rose ‘20 stated, “The arrest of 21 Savage sheds light on how many people in this country are actually illegal. 21 Savage is a very well known person yet nobody knew that he was in this country illegally.” While this is one take on the recent occurrences, many have taken this event as more of a wake-up call for how lax immigration policies can be for certain figures in the media. As Cate Hegeman ‘19 explained, “I think his deportation just goes to show how broken the immigration system is. His story is like so many others, where kids grew up here in America and are forced to leave when they get older. I’m eager to see if he uses the media attention to focus on immigration policy.” Many have speculated if 21 Savage will speak out concerning his arrest, but so far the only statement that we have heard from him concerns how he believes that he was targeted by immigration officials [1].

Despite this more serious look at 21 Savage’s arrest, many memes also sprang up surrounding the shocking arrest of such an influential rapper. The public never would have suspected that Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage would have been from, yes, Britain–and people were certainly quick to comment on it. Social media platforms far and wide roasted 21 for the unlikely pairing of Britain and him.

While it certainly was a shocking (and humorous) event for all who were made aware of it, there is a more serious underlying message. 21 Savage’s arrest sparked the conversation for younger generations concerned with immigration regulations, and helped to bring about awareness due to the reputation of 21 Savage. It may have been the blessing in disguise that Americans needed to see how truly real the effects of the U.S.’ current policies are.

[1]https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/rapper-21-savage-describes-arrest-ice-we-got-savage-n971951

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21 Savage: From Famed Rapper to Deported Immigrant