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Music / 21 Savage

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"The streets raised me, I'm a whole bastard."
"My brother lost his life and it turned me to a beast
My brother got life and it turned me to the streets
I been through the storm and it turned me to a G
But the other side was sunny, I get paid to rap on beats."
— "A Lot"

Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (born October 22, 1992), better known by his stage name 21 Savage, is a rapper, songwriter and record producer born in London and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Though born in London, he moved to Atlanta at the age of seven. 21 Savage had a troubled adolescence, losing his brother in a drug-related shooting and being expelled from multiple schools for firearms possession. He later dropped out of high school, became a full-time drug dealer, and was involved in other criminal activity, including being part of the Bloods street gang. His stage name comes from an incident on his 21st birthday where he and his best friend were targeted by a rival gang; he was shot six times while his friend was killed.

21 Savage's music reflects this, with extremely dark themes revolving around violence, drug dealing and his criminal past, often in the trap genre. He is a frequent collaborator with hip hop producer Metro Boomin — he became widely known through a collaborative EP the two released, Savage Mode. Since then he has become one of the more prominent and acclaimed hip-hop artists of the 2010s.

Sadly, his career hit a stumbling block when he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in early 2019, as despite living in the USA for most of his life, he never received US citizenship and has lived there on an expired visa since age 12. His case has been postponed indefinitely for the time being, but he is still unable to leave the country until it is resolved.


  • The Slaughter Tape (Mixtape) (2015)
  • Free Guwop (with Sonny Digital) (EP) (2015)
  • Slaughter King (Mixtape) (2015)
  • Savage Mode (with Metro Boomin) (EP) (2016)
  • Issa Album (2017)
  • Without Warning (with Offset and Metro Boomin) (2017)
  • I Am > I Was (2018)
  • Savage Mode 2 (with Metro Boomin) (2020)
  • Her Loss (with Drake) (2022)


  • Author Appeal: His drug of choice is apparently Lean as it receives repeated mentions in his lyrics, even in songs that aren't about drug use.
  • Boastful Rap: Several of his songs, "Bank Account" being the most notable.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Largely averted. Though Savage raps about committing crimes very frequently and doesn't seem to feel any remorse about his criminal past, he doesn't shy away from describing the traumatic effects of growing up surrounded by violence and death in many of his songs.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Has certainly had one, and recounts it in the lyrics of many of his songs.
  • Funetik Aksent: The title of Issa Album.note 
  • Gangbangers: Was one in real life, and raps about gang activity frequently.
  • In Da Club: "A&T" takes place in a strip club.
  • The Informant: He makes frequent mention of his hatred of snitches in his lyrics.
  • List Song: "A Lot" is one, with its chorus listing all the things Savage has a "lot" of or that have happened "a lot" to him in his life.
    How much money you got? (A lot) How many problems you got? (A lot)
    How many people done doubted you? (A lot) Left you out to rot? (A lot)
    How many pray that you flop? (A lot) How many lawyers you got? (A lot)
    How many times you got shot? (A lot) How many niggas you shot? (A lot)
    How many times did you ride? (A lot) How many niggas done died? (A lot)
    How many times did you cheat? (A lot) How many times did you lie? (A lot)
    How many times did she leave? (A lot) How many times did she cry? (A lot)
    How many chances she done gave you? Fuckin' around with these thots (A lot)
  • Meaningful Name: His stage name — referring to when he and his best friend were shot (fatally in his friend's case) by rival gang members on his 21st birthday.
  • Rags to Riches: A common theme in his songs, reflective of his real life.
  • Verbal Tic: His own name, wierdly — "twenty one" is a frequent ad-lib in his verses.