21 Savage picked up a child dressed as a bumble bee, and immediately his gold fronts were visible as a smile spread across his face. A few feet away, a line of kids (and their equally excited parents) from his hometown of East Atlanta waited patiently to take pictures with the rapper, their hero. Savage high fived kids, promising to catch up with familiar faces on social media, and squeezed a little girl who wouldn’t let him go. For a rapper whose name is often synonymous with media reports about his troubled past and lyrics, this was a heartwarming sight.
The moment took place at South Dekalb Mall in Decatur, Ga. on Halloween (Oct. 31) as Savage helped PUMA launch the Clyde Court X-Rays, the latest release from the brand, which released its first basketball shoe in nearly 20 years earlier in October. For the release of the Clyde Court Disrupt, Meek Mill visited Foot Locker’s PumaLab in Philadelphia, Pa.
The in-store appearance in the East Atlanta rapper’s hometown drew a long line of costumed fans that extended out of the the Foot Locker. In the end, many of them didn’t make it inside to take a photo with the rapper or to fill branded pillowcases with candy as local radio station V-103 and media personality Big Tigger played Savage’s music. Fans who did make it inside the PumaLab were granted a brief interaction with the rapper, who stood next to a skeleton in a body bag. Both the skeleton and Savage, who was dressed in black and white Puma sweatpants and a matching jacket, wore the Clyde Court X-Rays.
Savage’s said the appearance at the mall was nostalgic for him.
“This is where I grew up,” he said. “It’s where I came to get all my clothes at for school and even when I got out of school.”
The rapper doesn’t have an official partnership with PUMA, but the rapper said he was excited to work with them on this event, especially because it involved interacting with kids from a community he’s worked so hard to give back to.
“I did this event with PUMA and Foot Locker, because PUMA has been doing a lot in the community,” he said. “I like how they’re moving with Nipsey [Hustle] and Meek [Mill]. They’re really working with the guys that are moving the culture and influencing kids in the hood, setting a good example, and it’s genuine. That’s important to me.”
Savage said he is planning his second turkey drive in the coming weeks, his latest philanthropic effort in East Atlanta. Earlier this year, he hosted a back to school drive for kids in the neighborhood. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 2,500 people showed up to the Issa Back To School Drive this year to receive free “backpacks, shoes, uniforms and school supplies” at the 285 Flea Mart, another shopping area the rapper frequented in his youth. This year’s crowd was a significant increase from the 700 people who lined up for school supplies in 2017.
The rapper kept mum on any upcoming music, but was clear on his intention to continue to give back to the community that raised him.
“I feel like they’re my biggest supporters,” he said. “This is where I came from. They made me who I am. I owe them everything.”
11/2/2018 by Jewel Wicker