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The curious case of 21 Savage's nationality

And more hip hop news this week.

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She’s still riding high off the success of the Queen record and, as her recent Australian shows proved, Nicki Minaj is definitely spitting some of her best game yet. The rapper hasn’t slowed down either, dropping two new freestyles on her Beats 1 radio show, Queen Radio, over Lil Baby and Gunna’s ‘Drip Too Hard’ as well as Meek Mill and Drake’s collab, ‘Going Bad’. The latter freestyle, entitled ‘Barbie Goin Bad’, had Nicki calling radio out for blackballing her music, while also teasing that a new album is in the works; “The label hit me/Said they want the fifth thing-thing/I got in the studio/I did the fifth thing-thing. If you’re subscribed to Apple and are keen to hear more from Nicki as new music emerges, she’s promising listeners a freestyle a week until the official album news is revealed – stay tuned.

Now this is a bit of a plot twist – 21 Savage is British. The rapper was arrested in Atlanta over the weekend by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on claims that he entered the US back in 2005, but now his passport is expired. Because of this arrest, 21 Savage could potentially face deportation from the US; if his passport has indeed expired. CNN has also reported that ICE is also looking into the rapper’s 2014 drug charges, which would mean the state of Georgia was harbouring an “unlawfully present” felon. 21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, first gained attention with The Slaughter Tape back in 2005, before reaching greater success on Metro Boomin’s Savage Mode collaboration album. In the years since, his status as an Atlanta rapper through and through has been solidified with his contributions to communities and disadvantaged youth, elevating 21 Savage to role model status.

Masego, Smino and Denzel Curry, are all in the country right now for Laneway Festival, and all three have been responsible for some incredible 2018 releases. It would make sense for them to combine forces, and on the weekend, Masego seemed to confirm that there is indeed a bit of a collaborative project in the can. Responding to an old Instagram Live video that was uploaded to Twitter by a fan, Masego said, “...and this was the beginning of the @smino x Masego x @denzelcurry record”. What a joint record from these three could sound like is frankly pretty damn exciting, considering how great the Clout Cobain, Lady Lady and NOIR albums were for their musicality and versatility. We’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on this one. You can catch the artists at Laneway Festival in Footscray on Saturday February 9, or Denzel Curry's solo show at 170 Russell on Friday February 8.