It was a busy day for Atlanta rapper 21 Savage Friday, starting with a pre-taped appearance on Good Morning America, followed by being booked into a South Georgia jail on a felony theft by deception warrant. He was later released, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
The Friday legal matter is connected to a concert booking from 2016 for which a promoter paid the musician, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, $17,000, TMZ reported. 21 Savage kept the money but did not perform, so the promoter filed paperwork to get a warrant issued for his arrest, according to TMZ’s report.
“The warrant is from some years ago, and he went through the process and addressed the issue,” Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes told the Coastal Courier newspaper in Hinesville.
A call to Sikes from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has not been returned.
21 Savage’s attorneys are calling the matter a “civil contract dispute.”
“This is really a civil contract dispute. We are optimistic that it will be resolved to the satisfaction of all of the parties and dismissed,” said Abbi Taylor, one of the musician’s attorneys.
More: Atlanta rapper 21 Savage: Immigration enforcement system ‘broken’
In an interview taped earlier this week and aired Friday morning on Good Morning America, the rapper spoke out against the nation’s immigration enforcement, calling it “broken” and adding he fears he could be deported. The Grammy-nominated musician was freed from the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla Wednesday after a federal immigration judge in Atlanta approved his release on a $100,000 bond. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested him Feb. 3, saying he’s a citizen of the United Kingdom who overstayed his visa.
“I don’t think the policy is broken. I feel like the way they enforce the policy is broken,” he said in his first interview since winning his freedom, adding: “I have been here 20 years — 19 years. This is all I know, you know what I am saying? I don’t feel like you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.