On Friday morning, Good Morning America broadcast rapper 21 Savage’s first interview since being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this month. Though the musician (born She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) is known as an Atlanta rapper, ICE contends that he is actually a United Kingdom citizen who has been living unlawfully in the United States for years.
21 Savage spent nine days in an immigration detention center, causing him to miss a planned performance at the Grammys. He’s now been released on bond, but ABC’s Lindsay Davis asked him if he worried he could still be deported.
“Yeah, but I feel like I done been through so much in my life, like, I learned to embrace the times when I’m down ’cause they always build me up and take me to a new level in life,” he said. “So it’s like even if I’m sitting in a cell on 23-hour lockdown, in my mind, I know what’s gonna come after that. So I’m not happy about it. But I’m accepting of it.”
Since his detainment, 21 Savage has received support from other musicians and celebrities, from Cardi B to Jay Z. The latter has provided him with “a powerhouse legal team,” per ABC. As the legal case around 21 Savage unfolds, one question that emerges is whether the rapper was deliberately targeted by ICE. He told GMA that when ICE first picked him up on Super Bowl Sunday in Atlanta, they didn’t tell him he was under arrest. He just heard them say, “we got Savage.”
Davis noted that 21 Savage’s detainment came just days after the release of his music video for “A Lot,” in which he raps “Went through some things, but I couldn’t imagine my kids stuck at the border.” When Davis asked if he thought this criticism of immigration policy may have influenced his arrest, 21 Savage said, “my lawyers think that…I don’t really know.”
One of those lawyers, Alex Spiro, told GMA‘s George Stephanopoulos that “There’s a lot of things about this case that are curious and troubling.”
Check out the full interview at ABC News.