21 Savage, Finally a Legal Resident, Performs Outside the US for the First Time in Toronto

The British-born rapper was declared a lawful permanent resident just in time to play the last Canadian date on the It's All a Blur tour

Photo: Ralph Arvesen

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Oct 9, 2023

Remember 2019? Pre-pandemic times were simpler overall, but we did go through a collective reckoning when it was revealed that Atlanta rapper 21 Savage was actually born in the UK. He was arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that February over since-substantiated claims of being a British citizen who had overstayed his visa.

Savage's legal team revealed that he was born in the UK and immigrated to the US at age 7, prompting plenty of memes. The rapper claimed that, "through no fault of his own," he lost his legal status in 2006 — a year after leaving the country to attend his uncle's funeral — and had filed for a new visa in 2017.

After that four-year legal battle, his request was finally fulfilled last week when he became a "lawful permanent resident" of the US. Savage shared the news on Instagram, posting a reel compiling footage of his childhood in London and the crowds he's since been performing for in the US, ending with the words, "London, I'm comin home…"

A post shared by @21savage

But before he finally goes back overseas, the rapper had business to attend to in Canada: the final date of his It's All a Blur tour with Drake, behind their 2022 collaborative album Her Loss. The Canadian had already performed in Montreal and Vancouver, as well as the first of two nights in his hometown, sans Savage, but the Atlanta-based MC was able to make it for the tour finale at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday (October 7).

A man declaring he was at the concert on behalf of "his majesty, Charles III," announced Savage's surprise appearance to the crowd. "To who it may concern, Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known officially as 21 Savage, is now cleared to travel up north and perform for his beloved fans," he told the audience. "He has chosen Toronto as his first destination."

Before this person was able to continue his spiel, he was cut off by none other than the Toronto mans himself, Drake. "Ladies and gentlemen — performing for the first time outside of America in his life — make some noise for the brother, 21," Drizzy said, welcoming a Canadian flag-clad Savage to the stage. He also apparently convinced his hometown fans to sing "O Canada" (regretfully, probably not Jully Black's version) to Savage.

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