21 Savage is bearing a huge grin on the new cover of Paper magazine.
Although the “A Lot” rapper seems extremely happy on the cover of the publication, 21 Savage discusses some pretty heavy issues in the feature.
In the exclusive interview, 21 Savage talks about America’s ongoing debate about immigration and its intersections with the Black experience.
In early February, 21 Savage was detained by ICE, and he told Paper that he was separated from his children for half of a month.
“I didn’t see my kids for almost two weeks,” 21 said talking about his time in detainment. “There are people in detention centers just sitting for months and even years not being able to see their families. Then some of those people just end up being sent off overnight to a place they ain’t never really lived and they don’t ever see their family after that.”
21 Savage came to the United States, specifically Atlanta, Georgia from London at the age of seven with his mother, after she split with his father. The rapper’s current immigration status is a result of his mother not staying up to date on her children’s immigration paperwork once they settled in the south.
“My situation made me realize I was different. All of my friends were getting their driver’s licenses and getting jobs and I couldn’t do any of that, so I had to get creative,” 21 Savage speaks of the situation.
“I didn’t know all the specifics; I just knew if the government finds out your paperwork ain’t all the way straight they ship you out.”
Although 21 Savage has faced the plight of the United States immigration system and the plight of the streets, the rapper says that he’s able to remain steadfast by focusing on the future.
“I stay focused on moving forward and not letting stuff put me in a hole or make me feel depressed. I don’t really dwell, but I think about the people I’ve lost. At the same time, I think of the moments I had with them versus them not being there.”