• Gov't Name: Shayaa Joseph
  • Twitter: @21Savage
  • Instagram: @21Savage
  • Snapchat: @savage730
  • Age: 21
  • Reppin: Atlanta
  • Notable Releases: Singles: “Red Opps,” “Air It Out”; Mixtape: Slaughter King, The Slaughter Tape, Savage Mode; Guest Appearance: Bankroll Mafia’s “I Want Her,” DJ Scream’s “Lit,” Rich The Kid’s “Migo Gang x Slaughter Gang”
  • Label: Slaughter Gang
  • Currently Working On: As-yet-titled collabo with Sonny Digital due out late summer/early fall.
  • Surprised About Who Is Missing: “Dreezy, she go hard.”
  • Influenced By: “[The] streets and my family.”
  • As A Freshman In High School: “I didn’t even go to high school. I went to high school for like a couple months and dropped out. I was just wild.”

TRUTH: On Being A 2016 XXL Freshman:

“I was like, That’s what’s up. I felt like I accomplished something. This wasn’t on the goal list. I fucked with it. It means I’m doing something right. I felt like I deserved it, it was more like if they don’t do it then I respect it. But if they do then I know why, ’cause I earned it.

It’s an honor, it’s a milestone, it’s something to remember. [I told] my brothers and my partners. They was just like, ‘Hell yeah, they better put you on that muthafucka, you deserve it,’ type shit.

I did everything by myself. That’s what separate me from a lot of people. I didn’t have no label, no marketing team, no promotion team, no nigga with no money behind me, I did all my shit by myself. I just worked hard. I just go out and do it, bruh. It don’t be no plans to it, I just do the shit. I can’t really describe it. Folks just gravitate to us.

I didn’t really know about [XXL Freshman Class] until this year. I used to see little tweets. They would at [@] y’all [Twitter account] and me. I would click on it and I’m like, What the fuck is this? I thought it was just like one person wins for the hardest worker of the year. I ain’t know it was a group of people. I didn’t know about it until this year.
I’m a real gangsta, I really come from that shit. There’s other niggas too that come from that shit but most of these niggas don’t come from it. I’m not saying that it’s a problem, I’m just saying that’s what’s different from me. Like I’ve been shot, all types of shit. Lost niggas right in front of me, I’ve been in real life or death situations and shit. I’m just different from these niggas. And I’m humble and got a brain. Most of these niggas be dumb as fuck, even in their interviews, they just be looking dumb as hell. They don’t know how to speak or nothing.

I’m from Glennwood [Georgia] where everybody really dead or in jail though. I think about it, it is what it is though. That’s how life go. It keep me wanting to stay focused and go further and further because I know where I came from. Go in the studio and go hard. Make hard music, shoot videos, and just keep your fans entertained.

[I bring] The street side, like the street side is just fading away. It’s all about fashion and shit. Fuck all of that. Rappers are getting killed. I feel like niggas don’t be talking about that.

[Now that I'm a Freshman] I'm taking things to the next level, 10,000 people concerts, sold out concerts, sold-out tours, albums doing good sales that type of shit. I want my album to do good and I want to do a sold-out tour.” - Emmanuel C.M.

Behind the Scenes: 21 Savage