In an interview with Big Facts on Thursday (Oct. 1), 21 Savage recalled visiting Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who helped provide him with legal counsel after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained him last year, once he was released.
“When I got out, I pulled up on Jay-Z at his house and sh–. Him and Beyoncé was in there,” he says in the interview. “And we was kicking it. He a regular n—a. I just was thanking him. When I first got out, I texted him like, ‘I’mma pay you back.’ He was like, ‘I don’t want your money.’ He said, ‘Pay me back by being great.’ So I pulled up on him, chopped it up, just thanked him and sh– like that, ’cause he ain’t have to do that sh–.”
On Feb. 3, 2019, ICE arrested and detained the U.K.-born, U.S.-bred rapper (real name She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) in Atlanta for overstaying a visa that expired in 2006. Jay-Z hired lawyer Alex Spiro to join 21 Savage’s legal team, who stated the “Bank Account” MC moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was 7. Ten days later on Feb. 13, he was released from custody on bond.
“The arrest and detention of 21 Savage is an absolute travesty, his U-visa petition has been pending for 4 years,” Hov said in a statement provided to Billboard by his spokesperson on Feb. 6, 2019. “In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately, #Free21Savage.”
Other rappers, including Cardi B, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, Offset and Vince Staples, tweeted as part of the “Free 21” campaign. And according to 21 Savage’s latest interview, their support didn’t go unnoticed.
“When I got out, I really started to see all the love, and I’m like, ‘Damn, that’s crazy,'” he recalled. “And I noticed all the fake love too, all the n—as who didn’t show love. So if you wondering why I’ve been stiff on you since I got out, it’s ’cause you a bi—, and you did not say ‘Free me!'”
In a Billboard cover story in April 2019, he detailed how much worse this time behind bars felt than in previous years. “The worst thing was sitting in there not knowing what was going to happen, or when it’s going to happen,” 21 Savage said at the time. “Whenever I went to jail before, it was, ‘You’re being charged with this and going to court on this date.’ But immigration ain’t like that. You’re just being held.”
Watch 21 Savage’s entire Big Facts interview below.