In record timing, social media humorists have made new song titles, album covers and GIFs based off the news that Atlanta-affiliated rapper 21 Savage is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national,” according to a spokesman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The 26-year-old was arrested Sunday for allegedly overstaying his visa, which expired in 2006. The rapper reportedly moved to the U.S. on a visa in 2005, according to ICE spokesman Bryan Cox. As of Sunday, Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, had been placed in “removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” Cox said.
Many fans responded with awe after hearing that the long-time ambassador for Atlanta is not in fact a native of the DeKalb area that he often raps about. In 2017, many learned more about the Grammy Award-nominated rapper’s Atlanta upbringing when he was featured in an episode of Vice’s series “Noisey.”
Mockery of the Atlanta-based artist has ensued since the news broke, with some fans using his most recent release “I Am > I Was,” which was No. 1 on the Billboard 200, to poke fun at the rapper’s authenticity.
Though most of Sunday night Twitter was chock-full of gibes at 21 Savage’s expense, one tweet from singer Demi Lovato brought immediate backlash. The singer-actress tweeted that the memes about Savage’s deportation were her “favorite part of the Super Bowl.” Shortly after her tweet, some, including rapper Wale, condemned her for being entertained by 21 Savage’s deportation and arrest.
The tweet has since been deleted, and Lovato later deactivated her Twitter account. Before she did, she sent a message to her followers saying “this is why I don’t tweet anymore.”
Though many panned Lovato, some noted that it was hypocritical to come down so hard on the singer, considering the jokes were overflowing about 21 Savage from thousands of social media users.
Taunting tweets like the ones below were met with responding memes, laughing GIFs, retweets and likes on Twitter Sunday.
There were some social media commentators that came to the philanthropic hip-hop artist’s defense. In recent years, he has ignited a “Bank Account” campaign to spread financial literacy and encourage teenagers and adults to invest. He has also been instrumental in efforts to support low-income children in metro Atlanta, with back-to-school drives and more.
Some found issue with the fact that 21 Savage could be deported after several years − and arrests− in America.