The rapper, whose full name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was asked by ABC News’ Linsey Davis if he’s concerned that he could 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,” he added.
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told ABC News in a phone interview on Thursday ICE doesn’t adjudicate cases and that the decision to release the rapper on bond is in the hands of the immigration courts.
“We don’t make bond decisions,” Cox said.
“All I can say is, ICE is a law enforcement agency and ICE respects the decisions of the courts,” he added.
In the exclusive interview, which airs on “Good Morning America” Friday morning, the Grammy-nominated rapper reflected on his legal ordeal and detention by ICE, which prompted a wave of support from fans and fellow artists from all corners of the hip-hop world — from Jay-Z and Cardi B, to fellow Atlanta-based artists like T.I. and Killer Mike.
“My mama told me to picture where I wanna be,” 21 Savage said, describing what was going on in his mind when he was detained. “She said, ‘Visualize yourself, whatever you wanna do, just close your eyes and visualize yourself doing that. And as long as you do that, you will never be in jail.’”
Arrest prompts shock and confusion
The 26-year-old is a British citizen who was arrested in a targeted operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the morning of Feb. 3 in Atlanta, officials said.
The news came as a shock to fans and caused widespread confusion because it was widely believed that he was born in Atlanta.
“I was just driving. And I just seen guns and blue lights. And, then, I was in the back of a car. And I was gone,” he said, when asked about his arrest on Feb. 3.
Asked if he was told that he was under arrest, the rapper said, “No. They didn’t — they didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.’”
“It was definitely targeted. There was helicopters,” he added, later clarifying that there was one helicopter.
At the time of his arrest, Cox told ABC News that Abraham-Joseph is a British citizen who overstayed his visa after entering the U.S. legally in July 2005 with his family.
“Long story short, he came in 2005 legally, however, he subsequently failed to deport,” Cox said. “His visa expired in 2006 he has been in the country unlawfully ever since.”
But according to the rapper and his attorneys, 2005 was not the first time he entered the U.S.
Abraham-Joseph, who was born in 1992, said that he arrived in the U.S. when he was 7 years-old, but then left the country in 2005 to attend his uncle’s funeral and then returned to the U.S. that same year.
“I didn’t even know what a visa was,” Abraham-Joseph said when asked if he was aware that his visa had expired.
“I was seven when I first came here. And we had left in, like, 2005 ’cause my uncle died, my Uncle Foster. So we went back to go to his funeral, and, then, we came back,” he added. “So that’s why I think [ICE] got it confused where they thought, like, that was my first coming.”