Rapper 21 Savage was granted release on bond Wednesday after being arrested on Feb. 3 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and now he is speaking out in his first interview since his detainment.
The A lot rapper appeared on Good Morning America on Feb. 15 and told ABC News’ Linsey Davis he was “definitely targeted.”
When she asked 21 Savage what happened the day of the arrest, he said: “I don’t even know, I was just driving and I just seen guns and blue lights. And then I was in the back of a car and I was gone.”
She also asked if authorities told him he was under arrest.
WATCH BELOW: ICE arrests Grammy-nominated rapper, 21 Savage
21 Savage replied, “Nah, they didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.’”
Davis brought up the 26-year-old rapper’s performance of a lot on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon prior to his arrest. In the song, 21 Savage rapped about immigration (“Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border”).
“Do you feel like you were targeted as a result of that, basically being critical of the immigration system here?” Davis asked.
“My lawyers think that,” 21 Savage replied. “I don’t really know. I can’t really say. I would see why people would think that, but I really can’t say.”
The rapper also spoke about his life in Atlanta. He entered the United States when he was seven and started the first grade.
He briefly visited the U.K. again for his uncle’s funeral and given his age at the time, 21 Savage explained, he doesn’t remember much.
“I didn’t even know what a visa was,” 21 Savage said when asked if he was aware of his immigration status. “I was seven when I came here. I knew I wasn’t born here but I didn’t know what that meant as far as transitioning into an adult.”
“I’ve been in Atlanta probably 20 years, 19 years,” he said. “I’m from Atlanta, in my eyes.”
21 Savage shared a message of support for those currently detained.
“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,” he said.
“I feel your pain, and I’m gonna do everything in my power to try and bring awareness to your pain,” 21 Savage said, vowing to use his platform to bring attention to the issue.
Asked if he was concerned being deported, he said, “Yeah, but I feel like I done been through so much in my life, like, I learned to embrace the times when I’m down ’cause they always build me up and take me to a new level in life.”
21 Savage’s lawyer Dina LaPolt appeared on Good Morning America, explaining, “We are in the middle of securing his immigration status, so where he’s a citizen, but it’s very, very complicated, and there’s a lot of steps that we have to go through.”
Alex Spiro, the lawyer that Jay-Z hired for the rapper, added, “We believe, honestly, that he was targeted — of course, like they said — and part of the reason, we think, is both because he’s a celebrity, and they can use this as a way to send a message, and also, perhaps, because of his music.”
The Bank Account rapper’s legal team released a statement on his behalf earlier this week. “He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country,” the statement read. “And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”
21 Savage was taken into immigration custody early on Feb. 3.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the British citizen had overstayed his visa and has a felony conviction.
21 Savage was born in the London borough of Newham to British parents, according to CNN, who obtained a copy of the rapper’s birth certificate. The document lists his parents’ home as East Ham.
21 Savage’s lawyers previously said they were speaking with ICE since his arrest to “clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.”
They have also previously said the 26-year-old rapper was brought to the U.S. when he was seven years old and his legal status expired in 2006 through no fault of his own.
The rapper has several relatives in the United States, including his three children who are all U.S. citizens, and his mother and four siblings, who are either lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, his lawyer previously said.
Watch part of the interview in the video above.
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