21 Savage

21 Savage
21 Savage 2018.jpg
21 Savage performing in Austin, Texas in June 2018.
Background information
Birth nameShayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph
Born (1992-10-22) October 22, 1992 (age 26)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
OriginDeKalb County, Georgia, U.S
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2014 (2014)–present
Associated acts

Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (born October 22, 1992), better known by his stage name 21 Savage, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer from Atlanta, Georgia. Abraham-Joseph grew up around criminality and eventually dropped out of school, beginning to rap in 2013 after the death of a friend. He gained attention in the Atlanta underground for the 2015 mixtape The Slaughter Tape before attaining nationwide attention following the Metro Boomin collaborative album Savage Mode (2016), its lead single "X", and his collaboration with Drake, "Sneakin'".[2]

Abraham-Joseph released his debut studio album, Issa Album, on July 7, 2017.[3] It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and gave Abraham-Joseph his first Billboard Hot 100 top 20 song, "Bank Account". He achieved his first number one single at the end of 2017 with his feature on Post Malone's "Rockstar".[4] On Halloween 2017, he released the Offset and Metro Boomin collaboration Without Warning. In December 2018, he released his sophomore album, I Am > I Was which debuted and charted at number one on the Billboard 200 for two consecutive weeks.[5]

Early life

Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph was born on October 22, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia.[6][7] He was raised by his mother, Heather, who is of Dominican origin and his four brothers and six sisters, though one is now deceased due to a shooting after a drug deal gone haywire.[8]

In the seventh grade, Abraham-Joseph was banned permanently from every single school in the DeKalb County School District due to gun possession.[9] This led him to begin attending schools around the Atlanta metropolitan area before being sent to a youth detention center.[10] 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.[11]

After dropping out, Abraham-Joseph joined a street gang affiliated with the wider Bloods street gang[2] and became a full-time drug dealer, mainly selling cannabis.[11] 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.[12] In 2011, when Abraham-Joseph was 19, he lost his "right hand" man, Larry in a shootout.[11] In 2013, on his 21st birthday, Abraham-Joseph was shot six times by rival gang members and his brother Johnny "Tay-Man" Abraham-Joseph was killed during an attempted robbery.[13]

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