21 Savage is a famous rapper with some very high-profile friends, but before he became a musician, did he attend college?
It is not thought that 21 Savage attended college, as he actually ended his education early after being expelled from school. He attended a youth detention center for a period, then dropped out of high school after only one semester.
Read more about 21 Savage’s early life and education below.
Before Finding Fame
Savage was expelled from school in seventh grade after being caught with a gun. “I had got caught with a pistol…It was just some sh*t had to happen,” he says.
He describes a difficult childhood, growing up in what he calls “beat up” apartments. After the incident with the gun in only seventh grade, he was not only expelled from his school but was banned from every school in the area.
He attended a youth detention center for a period and then began his high school career. At high school, he studied for only one semester before dropping out.
After school, he became part of a gang in Atlanta and admits to being involved in selling cannabis. His time in gangs culminated in a violent incident on his 21st birthday.
In an altercation with another gang, a shooting occurred where Savage was hit six times. Though he survived, there was a fatality in the incident.
Despite the injuries he sustained, he believes that this incident marked a turning point in his life, where he decided to focus on music. If it hadn’t happened, he believes he’d be in prison or murdered.
In a conversation with Interview Magazine, he explains that he began recording music after he was released from hospital. “When I got shot,” he says, “There wasn’t really nothing else for me to do, because I couldn’t really move around the way I wanted to. So I was either in the house or in the studio.”
In 2014, 21 Savage released ‘Picky’, his first single. The song’s release came only a year after the shooting.
He collaborated with DJ Plugg for the track, who has worked with artists including Migos and Fall Out Boy. Following his early experimenting with mixtapes, he released the EP ‘Free Guwop’ in 2015.
His first full album, ‘Issa Album’, came in 2017.
A series of collaborations helped to build Savage’s reputation. He worked with some of music’s biggest names including Drake, Post Malone, and Cardi B.
His track with Post Malone, ‘Rockstar’, climbed the charts and became a Billboard Hot 100 number one song. In total, the rapper has had more than 30 songs enter the Hot 100 chart.
In 2020, he became a Grammy-winning artist thanks to another of his collaborations. ‘A Lot’, his track with J. Cole, won the accolade for the best rap song
In 2019, 21 Savage’s biographical information was thrown into doubt. In a shock event for many, 21 Savage was detained by immigration officials, who claimed he was living in the USA illegally.
He spent more than a week in a detention center. Several high profile figures, including Jay-Z, came to his defense and called for his release.
The authorities claimed that Savage was a UK citizen who did not have the proper documentation to remain in the US. Many had assumed that the Atlanta rapper, who references the city in several songs, had been born in the US, though this was not the case.
Savage explained that though he was born in the UK, he moved to the US during childhood. The legalities, his representative said, were no fault of his own, since he was a child at the time of immigration.
Speaking to the media, he said, “It’s not like I was 30, woke up, and moved over here. I didn’t know anything about visas and all that. I just knew we were moving to a new place.”