This week isn't even half over, but it's already been a huge one for 21 Savage.
The Atlanta rapper just announced that his new album American Dream will come out on Friday, Jan. 12 in an Instagram post. That news broke two days after he shared information about his similarly-titled loosely biographical film American Dream: The 21 Savage Story.
Both projects will likely touch on 21 Savage's immigrant background. The rapper, real name Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in London and lived in the U.K. until he was 7-years-old.
The cover art shared on Jan. 9 is centered on a portrait of 21 Savage as a child. It looks like the image 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.
21 Savage made headlines in 2019 when he was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The rapper was accused of being an illegal immigrant and held at a detention facility for more than a week. Before this, it wasn't public knowledge that 21 Savage was born in the U.K. The revelation shocked many given how central the rapper's Atlanta roots were to his public image.
The matter 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. again. He joined his frequent collaborator Drake on stage at a show in Toronto.
The rapper hasn't released a solo album since 2018's I Am > I Was, which made it to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. Since then, he's also put out two collaboration albums: 2020's Savage Mode II with Metro Boomin and 2022's Her Loss with Drake. Both records made it No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and several tracks from the latter LP have garnered 2024 Grammy nominations.
Fans were excited for the new music in the comment section below the Instagram post.
"In 21 we trust," one said. "(In) 2016 they called this man a mumble rapper," said another. "(In) 2024 he said hold this concept album."
In the upcoming film, 21 Savage will be portrayed by Donald Glover (Community and Atlanta) and Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) at various points in his life.
A trailer shared by 21 Savage on Jan. 8 also includes new music from the rapper. The title of the track hasn't been confirmed at this time. The video begins with a woman, ostensibly 21 Savage's mother, speaking to the musician when he was a child.
"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," she says. "That star is your dream and they can never take it."
The clip also includes a recreation of a young 21 Savage attending a formative rap concert and getting his signature forehead tattoo. Details about the new film remain scarce.