It may not seem likely that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and rapper 21 Savage would have a reason to ride around the city together, but as part of The (404) Dream campaign to uplift Atlanta, the pair discussed the American dream as it relates to the state capital.
As they rode around in a Cadillac Escalade, Bottoms and 21 Savage, whose real name is Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, chatted about how the local community has helped them make their dreams come true.
Born in the U.K., 21 Savage moved to Atlanta when he was 7 years old.
“Growing up, all I had was, like, my mom. She couldn’t get a job, she didn’t have no license and all that because we didn’t have the paperwork,” the rapper said. “So while she was trying to find her way, I kinda got adopted by my friends’ families. So they grandma became my grandma. They mom was like my second mom.”
The story reminded Bottoms of the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.”
It’s something the city’s 60th mayor could relate to as well.
“That’s what Atlanta was for me,” she said. “Especially when my family had challenging times, it’s just always a bigger community pushing me on saying I can do better, I can be better.”
Savage credited the city for making him who he is today: a platinum-selling rapper whose 2017 feature on Post Malone’s “Rockstar” peaked at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The London-born performer got into rapping after he was shot on his 21st birthday. His friend was killed.
Meanwhile, Bottoms remarked on her own famous father, R&B icon Major Lance. In 1978, he was convicted of cocaine possession. He spent four years in prison.
“With his challenges, he was still a wonderful father and he would just always push me and push me about being respectful and doing the best that I can do in school,” she said. “And for me, it made me want to be stable and do something. I wanted to know that other side of my dad going to prison.
“You visit somebody in jail and there’s nothing but black men there and that’s what piqued my interest in going to law school,” she added. “It’s a privilege to be a mayor.”
View the rest of 21 Savage’s and Bottoms’ conversation in the clip above.
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