In the past few years, rapper 21 Savage has amassed several hits and collaborated with the likes of Drake and Post Malone, but you may not be aware of his first song.
21 Savage’s first song was ‘Picky’. It was released in 2014, having been produced by DJ Plugg, and was later included on his first mixtape, ‘The Slaughter Tape’, in 2015.
Find out more about 21 Savage’s first song and the career that has followed below.
These days, 21 Savage is well known for his hit singles and stylish Instagram shots. However, many of his more recent fans might not be aware of his first single.
Savage, real name Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, started visiting a recording studio after his time in gangs came to an end. On his 21st birthday, he was the victim of a shooting, where his brother was killed.
This incident marked a clear turning point. In an interview with Seth Rogen, Savage says that, had he not been shot, he believes that he would now be “dead or in jail.”
Being shot, he says, saved him from that lifestyle. He speaks candidly about this, both in his songs and interviews, explaining, “I’m just an honest person, so it’s natural to me…That’s what people want to know about, so I ain’t got no problem telling.”
In the year following this event, his debut single ‘Picky’ was released. In the track, he raps about his high standards, and how he refuses to settle for less than he wants.
The song also alludes to his previous lifestyle, with lines including “I’m young, dumb and I’m reckless.”
Streaming app Spotify credits ‘Picky’ as the song which “launched his solo career.”
Savage worked with music producer DJ Plugg to create the track. Plugg boasts an impressive career of his own, having worked alongside artists including Lil Wayne, Young Thug and Fall Out Boy.
Career after ‘Picky’
21 Savage has endured multiple controversies in the past few years.
Just last year, he was at the center of two legal cases. In February 2019, he was charged with theft by deception, though this was later dropped.
Only weeks before this, he was embroiled in an immigration scandal.
The rapper references Atlanta in several of his songs, however, it emerged that he was actually born in the UK, and moved to Atlanta in 2005, aged 12. He had outstayed his visa and was faced with the threat of deportation.
Despite having had several encounters with the law, 21 Savage’s career has thrived since the release of ‘Picky’.
Later that year, he achieved his first top-10 single with the track ‘Rockstar’, a collaboration with Post Malone. In the track, Savage discusses his experiences as a successful musician, rapping “I’m livin’ like a rockstar.”
In January 2020, Savage reached the ultimate dream of many musicians when he won a Grammy. His song ‘A Lot’, which features J. Cole, took home the award for best rap song.
What’s Next for 21 Savage?
Several years on from the release of ‘Picky’, 21 Savage has firmly made his mark in the music industry.
His success was further confirmed by Forbes magazine last year when the rapper made it onto their ‘30 under 30’ music rich list.
Fans are eagerly awaiting his next album, which is expected to be a prequel to earlier album ‘Savage Mode’, and the star has explained that it is soon to be released. Speaking on Instagram, he told fans “‘Savage Mode 2’ on the way.”
If you’re wondering what the delay is, Savage explains that he wants to “perfect” the music before it’s released.
The release of the album remains a hot topic, however, for now, the wait continues.