21 Savage: Jay-Z hires lawyer for detained rapper – and calls arrest a ‘travesty’ | Ents & Arts News



Jay-Z has hired a lawyer to help UK-born rapper 21 Savage following his arrest and detainment in the US.

The music mogul branded the arrest an “absolute travesty” and said he should be released “immediately”.

21 Savage – whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph – was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for allegedly overstaying his visa, although his legal team insist he is being wrongly held.

The 26-year-old British national moved to the US when he was 12 years old, and he is the father of three children who are American citizens.

He has applied for a U visa, designed for victims of crime who have suffered “substantial abuse” in the US, after his lawyers said he survived a shooting in 2013.

Jay-Z joined a host of artists, including Cardi B and Offset, in defending 21 Savage and says his pending visa application means he should be released from custody.

He said in a statement: “In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately, #Free21Savage.”

New York-based immigration lawyer Alex Spiro, who Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation hired to assist with the case, said the legal team will “not stop” until the rapper is released.

Mr Spiro described him as a “wonderful person, father and entertainer”.

The team have suggested his arrest could have been triggered by his criticism of US immigration policy in a recent song.

The father-of-three has been described as a "wonderful person, father and entertainer"
The father-of-three has been described as a ‘wonderful person, father and entertainer’

They say 21 Savage should be able to fight for his case in court, adding that his legal immigrant status expired in 2006 through “no fault of his own”.

ICE claims the star has a criminal record following drug offences in 2014 – but 21 Savage’s legal team say these were expunged from his record.

Mr Spiro said this was a “marijuana offence which was vacated and sealed”.

The rapper is currently nominated for two Grammy Awards – including record of the year for Rockstar in collaboration with Post Malone.


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