21 Savage's true-to-life stories from the streets and knack for crafting trap bangers have elevated him to rap star status. Born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph on Oct. 22, 1992, in London, England, he moved to the U.S. with his British mother and Ugandan father when he was 7 years old and grew up in Atlanta. 21 started rapping in his early teens and released his debut mixtape, The Slaughter Tape, in 2015. The project introduced fans to his stories of drug dealing and gun violence with songs like "Lord Forgive," "Skrrt Skrrt" and "Dirty K" featuring Lotto. His next project, the Sonny Digital-produced Free Guwop EP, was released the same year and established him as the new voice of Atlanta trap.
In 2017, he dropped his debut album, Issa Album, which landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. His second project, I Am > I Was, which includes the introspective track "A Lot" featuring J. Cole, was released in 2018 and also premiered atop the Billboard 200 chart. Additionally, he collaborated with producer Metro Boomin on their noteworthy project Savage Mode in 2016 and its sequel, Savage Mode II, in 2020. Unfortunately, 21 Savage's rap career was derailed in February of 2019 when he was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and detained on charges of being in the U.S. illegally. The issue is that 21 entered the U.S. on a visitor visa in July of 2005, but never obtained full citizenship and didn't leave the country as a result. The case for his stay in the U.S. is still pending. That aside, 21 Savage capped off 2022 with Her Loss, his collaborative project with Drake, and has spent much of 2023 touring with him on the It's All a Blur Tour.