Grammy-nominated Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage was arrested by U.S. immigration officials on Sunday, who said he was illegally in the country and a convicted felon.
The rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, came to the United States from the UK as a teenager in 2005, overstaying his visa to settle in Atlanta, said Bryan Cox, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Cox said Abraham-Joseph, whose 21 Savage Facebook page shows several upcoming concerts, was in custody in Georgia and faced deportation proceedings in federal immigration courts.
He said Abraham-Joseph was convicted on felony drug charges in Georgia in 2014, and was arrested on Sunday as part of a targeted operation with the cooperation of local law enforcement.
The rapper’s lawyer, Dina LaPolt, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters on Sunday, but told the entertainment publication Variety that Abraham-Joseph was a “role model” who was working on financial literacy programs aimed at helping underprivileged youth.
“We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding,” she said, according to Variety.