Rapper 21 Savage gave $25,000 to the Southern Poverty Law Center this week after the watchdog organization helped him while he was in federal immigration custody earlier this year.
In order to show his gratitude for their help, the Grammy-nominated artist donated the money to fight Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) “oppressively adverse conditions of detention” and give immigrants legal representation, The Washington Post reported.
The 26-year-old rapper, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is a British citizen and moved to the United States at age 7. In 2005, when he was 12, he left the U.S. for a brief time and then returned on a temporary visa, which expired the following year.
Since then, he’s been living in the United States and trying to legalize his immigration status. According to 21’s lawyers, he has three U.S.-citizen kids, and his mother and four of his siblings are all either U.S. citizens or legal residents.
He has been a star on the Atlanta rap scene for over a decade. Most didn’t even know he wasn’t born in the United States.
He was arrested on Feb. 3 in what ICE has said was a targeted operation over his expired visa. ICE initially said its effort to deport 21 Savage was because of a 2014 felony drug conviction – which was expunged in 2018.
He had to spend 10 days at the Irwin County Detention Center before he was released on a $100,000 bond.
This isn’t the first time that 21 Savage has given back to his community. In August 2018, he gave free school supplies to more than 2,500 DeKalb County school students. He is also “actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy,” according to former lawyer Dina LaPolt.
For 2019, 21 Savage was nominated for two Grammy Awards one for Record of the Year and the other for Best Rap Performance. He has previously released two albums.