21 Savage performing in Austin, Texas in June 2018.
|Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph|
October 22, 1992|
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (born October 22, 1992), better known by his stage name 21 Savage, is an American rapper.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Abraham-Joseph grew up around criminality and eventually dropped out of school. He began rapping in 2013 after the death of a friend and quickly caught attention in the Atlanta underground for the 2015 mixtape The Slaughter Tape before getting nationwide attention after the Metro Boomin produced Savage Mode and his collaboration with Drake, "Sneakin'" was released.
Abraham-Joseph released his debut studio album, Issa Album, in 2017 which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and gave Abraham-Joseph his first top twenty song, "Bank Account." He achieved his first number one single at the end of 2017 with his feature on Post Malone's "Rockstar."
Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph was born on October 22, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised by his mother Heather, who is of Dominica descent, and his four brothers and six sisters, though one is deceased due to a shooting after a drug deal.
In the seventh grade, Abraham-Joseph was banned permanently from every school in the DeKalb County School District due to gun possession. This led him to begin attending schools around the Atlanta metropolitan area before being sent to a youth detention center. After being released from the youth detention center, he completed eighth grade through an alternative program before finishing a semester of high school, dropping out in his freshman year following multiple exclusions which Abraham-Joseph said he was "exhausted" by.
After dropping out, Abraham-Joseph joined a gang affiliated with the Bloods and became a full-time drug dealer, mainly selling cannabis. He also took parts in other criminal activities including robbery and grand theft auto regularly, though only being arrested once after contraband was found in a car he was driving. In 2011, when Abraham-Joseph was 19, he lost his "right hand" man, Larry in a shootout. In 2013, on his 21st birthday, Abraham-Joseph was shot six times and his brother Johnny "Tay-Man" was killed during an attempted robbery.
Following the death of his friend in a shootout on his 21st birthday, Abraham-Joseph began rapping, naming himself after the event though Savage came from Instagram predictions. His music career was originally subsidized by the uncle of his deceased friend, giving him money for studio time in 2013. On November 12, 2014, 21 Savage's debut single, "Picky", produced by DJ Plugg, was released. It was later included on his debut mixtape, The Slaughter Tape, which was released on May 25, 2015. The release made him what Interview called an "underground hero in Atlanta."
On July 2, 2015, 21 released a collaborative EP, Free Guwop, with Sonny Digital. It is a tribute EP to fellow rapper and influence Gucci Mane. On December 1, 2015, Abraham-Joseph released his second mixtape, Slaughter King.
In June 2016, Abraham-Joseph was named as one of the "Freshman Class" of 2016 by XXL. On July 15, 2016, Abraham-Joseph released his joint EP Savage Mode with Atlanta-based record producer Metro Boomin. The EP gained international success and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard 200, which became their highest charting EP to date. He was on the cover of Fader. His single "X" featuring Future on the EP was confirmed by Billboard as going platinum in the US, being 21's 1st platinum record. On January 18, 2017, Abraham-Joseph announced that he had signed to Epic Records.
In 2017, his debut studio album, Issa Album, reached at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. Its lead single, "Bank Account", charted in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, he was featured on Post Malone's single "Rockstar", which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and broke several records.
In April 2018, Abraham-Joseph had a guest appearance on Young Thug's extended play Hear No Evil along with fellow rappers Nicki Minaj and Lil Uzi Vert. Later that month he also appeared on the single "Outstanding" by SahBabii. In March 21 he was featured on the single "Rover 2.0", which is part of BlocBoy JB's Simi mixtape. In the following month, he was featured on Ty Dolla Sign's "Clout", which is part of the upcoming deluxe edition of last years's Beach House 3.
Called "one of the last street niggas left making music" by frequent collaborator Metro Boomin, Abraham-Joseph's music is heavily autobiographic with emphasis on violent and criminal aspects of his past including murder and drug dealing.
In 2018, 21 Savage reportedly started a movement called "Guns Down, Paintballs Up" which was intended to reduce gun violence. The head of the Detroit Police Department, James Craig, described the movement as "well-intentioned, however, misguided". The movement has been linked to several cases of property crime and homicide. 21 Savage has not commented on the matter, although he paid for the funeral of a 3-year old who was killed in a related incident.
Controversy arose after Abraham-Joseph pulled out a firearm during a pool party on June 11, 2018. Abraham-Joseph was given the firearm by a friend after seeing an opposing crew also pull out a pistol.
He also has three children.
|2018||BET Awards||Best New Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||Best New Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|Hip-Hop Song of the Year||"Rockstar" (with Post Malone)||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top New Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Top Hot 100 Song||"Rockstar" (with Post Malone)||Nominated|
|Top Streaming Song (Audio)||Nominated|
|Top Rap Song||Won|
|ASCAP Pop Awards||Winning Songs||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Song of the Year||Won|