21 Savage comes from a childhood full of despair and loss. When he was just eleven years old, 21’s uncle was shot twice in the head in front of his home. At fourteen years old, he began selling drugs, himself. When he was in the seventh grade, 21 was kicked out of school for gun possession after he heard of another kid’s plan to jump him; thereby, giving 21 more time to sell weed on the streets. This allowed him to collect quite a bit of revenue and eventually, he used his money to buy his mom a car and an apartment.
Later, he created his own gang known as 21 and fathered two children. In 2013, his best friend was killed in a shooting that 21 Savage barely survived; though, he landed in the hospital with six gunshot wounds.
2013 was an especially important year in the rapper’s life because that is also the year when he began to rap professionally. In 2014, he decided to get a dagger tattooed between his eyes as a tribute to his brother, who died that same year.
His music proves that beyond everything 21 Savage is authentic. He began writing music by writing and rapping about his own life. He claims to respect character and actions more than money in this consumerist and capitalist society. 21 Savage claims to be making money in order to improve the lives of the people he grew up with and those who grew up with him. This goal makes a statement about his overall character and creates a testament to his younger self, who made money on the streets to buy his mother a new home and a car.
The rap artist currently only has four albums released on Soundcloud: The Slaughter Tape, Slaughter King, Savage Mode, and Savage Season.
His gaining popularity comes, perhaps, from the real events and his past from which his music is based on. There is a connection between the artist and the listener that is created when one listens to his songs. They will never experience these events; however, they can feel the influence of them.
This realism is what draws fans in and what helps in making 21 Savage so successful. Not only this, but his authenticity is to be applauded. He does not pretend to be someone else and he owns up to the things he’s done and the life he’s led. Overall, however, he is simply trying to create a better life for his children and those he keeps close to him
In 2016, comedian MacArthur Johnson came out of nowhere and started rapping under the name 22 Savage. Not only did he steal 21 Savage’s name, he also stole his style of rapping. 21 Savage dismissed 22 as nothing but a wannabe and claimed that there’s only one 21.