Many thought it was real. Caleb McLaughlin of Stranger Things and Atlanta creator Donald Glover were recruited to play the rapper at various points in his life. Actors like Jabari Banks, Natasha Lyonne and Victoria Pedretti also appeared in the clip.
But 21 Savage confirmed that the trailer was not tied to a larger film project in a recent interview with Club Shay Shay.
"That was a parody," the Atlanta rapper said.
He's not opposed to the idea of creating a biopic at some point, but doesn't think now is the right time.
"I feel like it could be one day," the musician said. "They would hate on it now though. Because they gon' be like, 'What the f**k 21 Savage deserve a story for, a movie about him for? What he did?' You know how they do."
Most of the trailer tells the rapper's life story. It touched on his early childhood in England, his family's move to the U.S. and the bullying he received in school.
The clip begins with a monologue from a character that's presumably 21 Savage's mother: "These people, they think we’re savages. Remember the wishing star: whenever you feel lost, just remember I’m looking up at the same star… That star is your dream and they can never take it."
The trailer also shows 21 Savage getting his iconic face tattoo, his rise to fame and the ICE raid he was subjected to in 2019 due to his immigration status.
Before that incident made headlines, it wasn't public knowledge that 21 Savage was an immigrant. His public image had always been very tied up with his Atlanta roots.
The situation wasn't fully resolved until late last year, when the rapper received a green card. This allowed 21 Savage to finally perform outside of the U.S.. He joined his frequent collaborator Drake on stage at a show in Toronto.
The trailer may have been fake, but it certainly did a good job of drawing attention to American Dream. The record debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
The album's cover art also includes many references to 21 Savage's immigrant background.
It's centered on a portrait of 21 Savage as a child. The image looks like it was taken from a passport or some sort of ID. The photo is surrounded by text gleaned from the rapper's immigration documents, including his full name, birthday and the date he first entered the country.
The rapper received five different Grammy nominations this year.
His November LP Her Loss, a collaboration with Drake, is in the running for Best Rap Album. The track "Rich Flex" was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. "Spin Bout U" and "Sittin' on Top of the World" were both nominated for Best Melodic Rap Performance.
21 Savage is also scheduled to perform at Coachella in April.