London-born rapper 21 Savage was criticized this week on Twitter for using his platform to encourage people in his adopted hometown of Atlanta to end gun violence.
“Atlanta We Have To Do Better Put The F****** Guns Down !!!!!,” 21 tweeted on Monday.
Replies to the tweet were overwhelmingly critical of the messenger, but not the message. The rapper who is known for songs like “Glock In My Lap” and “No Opp Left Behind” was called out for some of his lyrics.
One commenter quoted lyrics:
Another said specifically that 21 Savage needs to “switch up” his content.
However, he quickly replied to one tweet writing, “A Song Is For Entertainment It’s Not An Instruction Manual On How To Live Life In Real Life I Give Away A lot Of Money And Spread Financial Literacy To My Community Stop Trying To Make Me 1 Dimensional.”
On Instagram, 21 continued the dialogue added, “If what I’m rapping about or all these rappers is rapping about is the reason that people are dying and young people are acting the way they’re acting, why ain’t the whole world dead? ‘Cause the whole world listens to our music,” he said suggesting that gun violence is unique to America.
“Y’all want me to not express how I really feel about what’s going on and where I’m from?” he continued. “At the end of the day, I been through a lot, seen a lot, and I used all my pain and trauma. I found a way to turn it into fuel, and it motivated me to make a way for my family.”
The 29-year-old rapper added, “I found a way to feed my family without doing nothing illegal, so I really don’t give a f**k how nobody feels about what I rap about. At the end of the day, I can rap about whatever, but when it comes down to what I do in real life, I give back. I look out for a lot of people, I take care of a lot of people, I help a lot of people. I been doing this. This is me as a person.”
He noted that there is undue criticism of rap lyrics while other forms of entertainment are excluded. “Y’all don’t do actors like that. Actors can get in a movie and kill the whole world and go hold a peace rally and y’all won’t say s**t. Kids get on video games and kill a million people every day. Do y’all rally against video games?”
In another clip, he added, “They say, ‘You a hypocrite, you this, you that.’ [But] I ain’t ever promoted violence. I just rap about what I’ve been through, what I’ve heard about, what I saw. That’s not me promoting violence,” 21 Savage said
This week’s comments are not the first time that the rapper has spoken out against gun violence. In May he spoke out after the 19 children and 2 teachers were shot and killed at Uvalde Elementary in Texas, writing, “I really can’t believe kids really have to worry about being safe at school that sh*t is crazy to me very crazy !!!”
And earlier this year, the self-proclaimed Saint Laurent Don said that he would, do everything in his power “to give back and calm the violence until I’m gone !”