Last week the music world spoke about shock and indignation after the rapper 21 Savage was held by ICE.
He is now being held after 23 hours of lockdown, after being arrested while driving in his nephew's car during a traffic stop.
But last night, when the stars flew to the Staples Center, bar one quick shoot on stage, it was like the biggest story of the week in music never happened.
It may seem hard to remember, but last weekend the music world was apparently united in disgust about the way 21 Savage was treated, due to the fact that he had crossed a visa that passed at the age of 14.
The disbelief was particularly acute because 21 was nominated for a Grammy along with co-star Post Malone, for Record of the Year for Rockstar & # 39 ;.
His legal representatives even linked his arrest by immigration and customs enforcement officials to the texts in which he denounced family separations at the Mexican border; in an extended version of his number & # 39; A Lot & # 39; from 2018, 21 raps: "I did a number of things, but I could not imagine my children staying at the border / Flint still needs water, n — ers was innocent, couldn & # 39; I get no lawyers. & # 39;
When it became clear that 21 would miss the Grammy ceremony, in what many interpreted as an act of sheer grudge from the authorities, some observers dared to hope that the Grammy's would provide a forum for not only the plight of 21 , who was born in the United Kingdom in 1992 and legally arrived at the age of 7 in the United States, but the precarious legal status of the 4.5 million people estimated to live in the US on expired visas and the apparent arbitrary nature of immigration procedures.
21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, has not been accused of any crime in connection with the stop and had contact with the authorities who knew his address since he submitted a U-visa in 2017.
Unbelievable that the organizers and artists of Grammys conspired to almost completely eradicate him, and his name was only mentioned three and a half hours later in the show – when the producer of Childish Gambino, Ludwig Göransson, told "This Is Amerika," winner of the song of the year, 21 gave his only mention on the podium.
Worst of all was, in the eyes of many fans, how a performance of the track "Rockstar" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who should have played 21, simply cut 21 & # 39; s couplet off the show.
And how is this for symbolism? Post Malone wore a 21 Savage T-shirt, but it was under his shirt, so everything that was visible during his performance was the letter "A."
Drake was no better. Maybe he bought 21 Ferrari in 2016 for their successful collaboration on Sneakin & # 39; to celebrate. Drake used his time on the stage to criticize the debatable Grammy's record about diversity, but did not mention 21.
The total lack of comment made it hard to believe that, for example, Twitter's Twitter Demi Lovato was forced to retweet a meme suggesting that a "British" rapper like 21 would write his verse with a feather spring and ink pot.
Yes, the show has to continue. But would a few short moments to show solidarity with 21 Savage, locked in a cell without the debt of his, and millions more like him, really killed the buzz?