Here’s Why 21 Savage Thinks ‘Broke Parents Are Better Than Rich Parents’

Rapper 21 Savage, chatting during a press tour for his new album “American Dream,” shared his take on family backgrounds. In a recent interview with Shannon Sharpe on “Club Shay Shay,” he declared that he thinks growing up with less can sometimes be better than being born into wealth. The 31-year-old father of three added that well-off parents often miss out on spending quality time with their kids.

21 Savage
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 20: 21 Savage attends the 2021 Soul Train Awards presented by BET at The Apollo Theater on November 20, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/FilmMagic)

More Than Money

“I be feeling like I don’t be doing all the way my job because of my job,” 21 Savage said. “So I be tryna balance that out. It’s like you work to gain all this success and all the good sh-t, but I feel like the best parents – in my opinion – is parents that don’t got it all. I feel like broke parents are better than rich parents, in my opinion, because when you broke, you got way more time.”

He continued, “So you there for a lot of sh-t. Yeah gifts and sh-t matter, but they won’t matter at the same time.”

Is 21 Savage Right?

While 21 Savage is entitled to his opinion, a study led in 2018 by Orestes Pat Hastings, a sociology professor at Colorado State, reveals that as income inequality continues to rise, affluent parents are increasingly spending more on their children’s education, child care, and extracurricular activities. This trend creates a widening financial gap between children of wealthy and poor families, potentially hindering upward economic mobility for the latter. Despite this disparity, the study found no significant change in the amount of time parents spend with their children across different income levels.

A similar study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research in 2021 shows the same results, saying affluent households often have fewer children, more educated parents, and attend better schools, leading to higher cognitive skills and educational attainment, ultimately affecting their lifetime earnings. The publisher used data from the National Child Development Study to gain insights into children from ages 7, 11, and 16, from different income groups and with varying levels of parental involvement, school quality, cognitive abilities, education, and earnings over time.

In a Reflective Mood

During the interview, the artist, who hails from the U.K. and was has Caribbean roots, also delved into his upbringing as an immigrant.

Born Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, the rapper arrived in the U.S. at the age of 12 in July 2005 but he did not leave the country when his visa expired a year later, as per officials.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman cited his illegal presence in the country and status as a convicted felon.

In October 2023 one of his attorneys told the Associated Press, Savage’s immigration court proceedings were concluded and he has been granted lawful permanent residency in the United States, allowing him to travel internationally.

While he now be truly rooted in America–Atlanta, to be exact–he reflected UK upbringing during his interview with Sharpe.

Although the surroundings are different, the similarities between London and Atlanta were not too big of a challenge for him to adjust to, Revolt TV reported.

“I remember small things, but not like a lot,” he admitted. “Like going to my grandma’s house, being with my mama. I remember going to the stores across the street. On my mama’s side of town, it’s this sh-t called a high street, and it’s like a street just full of stores. I remember walking over there. I remember more from when we went back and visited. ‘Cause we went back once to go visit when I was a little older, so I remember that more than I remember stuff while I was there, when I was younger.”

Now he seems to living the American dream.

“American Dream” was released on Jan. 12, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 by selling 133,000 units in its first week. “American Dream” marks 21 Savage’s fourth chart-topper and his highest solo sales yet, featuring artists such as Young Thug and Travis Scott.

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