21 Savage is a rapper, songwriter, and record producer who earned widespread recognition in 2016 following the release of his debut EP titled Savage Mode which featured highly rated hit singles like “X” and “No Heart”. About a year later, he dropped his debut studio album titled Issa Album which debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number 2.
In recent times, 21 Savage, who was well known for his gang affiliations in the Atlanta area, has had his credibility questioned as he was arrested by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for unlawfully staying in the United States. It was revealed that he is a citizen of the United Kingdom.
While it is still not clear if he will ever be facing deportation, the release of the song “A Lot” gave the rapper an opportunity to bounce back as he landed his first Grammy Award at the 2020 Grammy Awards under the category of Best Rap Song.
The Truth About His Origins
21 Savage was born in Plaistow district, East London, England on October 22, 1992. He was given the birth name Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph by his parents; Kevin Cornelius Emmons and Heather Carmilla Joseph.
Sadly, the rapper did not have the typical upbringing as his troubles started as a child when his parents separated in 1999. Being only 7 at the time, he joined his mother to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia where he had a very rough and turbulent childhood. He regularly got into fights at school and grew up in a violent, crime, and drug-ridden neighborhood.
As a result of what was going on around him, Savage got involved with gangs at a young age. He was later expelled from middle school while in seventh grade for pulling out a gun on a kid trash-talking him. The DeKalb County School District was left with no option but to ban him permanently from every school in the district following the incident. This forced his mom to place him in schools around the Atlanta metropolitan area.
21 Savage Spent Some Time in a Detention Center
21 Savage had a penchant for getting in trouble and was never far away from it even when he eventually changed school. His actions later got him sent off to a youth detention center with the aim of rehabilitating him. Upon his release from the youth detention center, he enrolled for an alternative program where he completed eighth grade.
The widely acclaimed rapper later spent only one semester in high school before opting to drop out. After dropping out of high school, he got back involved with a street gang in his neighborhood and soon metamorphosized into a full-time drug dealer. Aside from selling cannabis, the youngster was also involved in other criminal endeavors, including car theft and robbery.
21 Savage was arrested once after he was discovered with contraband in his car. In 2011, he lost his close friend Larry in a shootout with a rival gang. A few years later in 2013, on his 21st birthday, he got shot six times by members of a rival gang during an attempted robbery. During the shootout, his best friend at the time, Johnny, was murdered. Since that incident, Savage decided to turn a leaf and find solace in rap music which was a way of starting over and getting over all that had happened in the past.
How He Got His Stage Name and Early Music Career
The rapper chose his stage name in honor of his local street gang. ”21” was chosen in honor of the 2100 street gang in Atlanta while ”Savage” was just a description of himself.
To start recording, Savage got money from his late friend’s uncle who continued to help his career for a period of time. On November 12, 2014, he released his debut single titled “Picky”. The next year, 21 Savage’s debut mixtape, The Slaughter Tape, was released.
The mixtape was an instant hit across Atlanta and earned him much acclaim and fame. In July that same year, the rapper collaborated with rapper and producer Sonny Digital to release the collaborative EP, Free Guwop, which served as a tribute EP to fellow rapper and influence, Gucci Mane.
21 Savage went on to release his second mixtape, Slaughter King, in the fall of that same year as popular Hip Hop magazine, XXL, recognized him alongside Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Dicky, and Desiigner as artists to watch out for in 2016.
The Release of Savage Mode Earned Him Worldwide Fame
21 Savage gained international recognition following the release of the EP Savage Mode on July 15, 2016. The EP turned out to be the highest-charting EP ever on Billboard 200 as it peaked at number 23. The EP’s highly-rated single “X” which featured rapper Future, received platinum certification by the RIAA.
The widely acclaimed rapper went on to sign a recording contract with Epic Records on January 18, 2017. That same year, he released his debut studio album, Issa Album, which peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
Sometime in 2017, 21 Savage was featured by Post Malone on his hit single, “Rockstar”, which shattered the Billboard Hot 100 chart and broke several records. He later released his second studio album titled I Am > I Was on December 21, 2018. The album featured top acts like Travis Scott, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, Offset, Drake, NAS, Meek Mill, Young Thug, Gunna, and Project Pat.
21 Savage Has Made Millions of Dollars From His Music Career
Touring is a major source of income for musicians and 21 Savage has been able to perform across the United States thanks to his music that has become very popular and topped various charts. In 2019, he was able to headline his very first tour called the I Am > I Was Tour.
As a result of this, Savage has become one of the highest-paid rappers in the world with an estimated net worth of $12 million. While he does not hold back in regard to giving himself some of the best things life has to offer, the rapper also gives back to the community. Since 2016, he has hosted the “Issa Back to School Drive” which gives free haircuts, hairstyles, supplies, and school uniforms in his home neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2018, he donated $10,000 to Atlanta’s Continental Colony Elementary School to fund an anti-bullying campaign.
21 Savage Comes From a Big Family
21 Savage has Dominican and Haitian roots as his father is Dominican while his mother is Haitian. It is understood that the rapper has a lot of siblings; two from his parents while others are from his mother’s relationship with Dr. Amsu Anpu, a British expatriate she later got involved with after leaving her son’s father.
Savage’s direct siblings are twin sisters Jayda and Kyra Davis. One of his brothers, Quantivayus, died in a shooting after an attempted drug deal.
He Has Dated a Good Number of Women and Has Three Children of His Own
With regard to his love life, the Grammy award-winning rapper has been romantically involved with several women in the past. Top on the list of his romantic relationships is the one with the television star, Tommie Lee, in 2016. He later began dating American actress and model Amber Rose the next year.
The pair were love-struck despite the 9-year gap between them. Sadly, their relationship lasted for only a year after which it packed up.
Most recently, it was rumored that he’s dating another older lady but details of the affair are yet to be confirmed. More so, the rapper has three children; Kamari, Ashaad, and Rhian but the identities of his baby mamas are not known to the public.
Irrespective of that fact, one can’t deny that 21 Savage is a dotting father as he frequently uploads the pictures of his kids on his social media, gushing about them.