"The mission is as it's always been: For my son to become a man and live free in his American dream. " This is the last line of "american dream," the first song on 21 Savage's new album of the same name. The spoken word introduction is performed by his mother, Heather Joseph, and serves as a moving thesis for the album's heady concept; namely, how do you pay back the people who sacrificed everything for your success? Earlier in her verse, Joseph explains: "And what I wanted was an afterthought/ The idea of providing him proper chances/ Helped me to never stop moving forward.
The 21 Savage story was built for a big-screen multiplex. Born in London, his family relocated to the United States when he was still a child, a huge relocation that forced him to start again. Always unsure of his place in the world, the American government's rules on immigration paused his career, placing him in crisis. It's something he's worked hard to overcome - the close of 2023 bore witness to a sold-out European tour, including an emotional homecoming in London .