Afrika Bambaataa Responds To Accusations Of Sexual Abuse

Author, Bronx Democratic Party activist, and former music industry executive Ronald Savage recently accused hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa of sexual abuse. Savage served as a “crate boy,” a neighborhood kid who helped Bambaataa and other DJs haul in crates of records, and became a member of Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation at a young age. In his new self-published memoir Impulse Urges And Fantasies, he alleges that Bambaataa molested him multiple times in 1980, when he was 15 years old and Bambaataa was 23. In a statement to The New York Daily News, Bambaataa’s lawyer denied Savage’s claims, calling them “defamatory” and demonstrative of “a reckless disregard for their truth,” and now Bambaataa himself has issued a direct response to the allegations via Rolling Stone:

I, Afrika Bambaataa, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone. These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide. In the name of the Supreme Force, who is called by many names, whom All Praise is due. Good Spiritual Human, I pray for all of you and ask in return your prayers, and let us all do what we must to help change our ways on how we treat each other in evilness, to respect and love for each other as Humans Beings. May Peace and Blessings be upon each and everyone of you. Who would stand up to save us and our planet with so much chaos going on? Peace, Love, Honor and Respect to all.

Savage alleges that Baambaataa molested him at least five times, including ordering him to perform oral sex on an older Zulu Nation associate. He says that he’s speaking out now to seek reform of New York’s statute of limitations on child sexual abuse charges, which currently bars victims from pursuing criminal charges or civil penalties after their 23rd birthday. “I promised myself before I die, I’m going to let the world know what happened to me,” he told The New York Daily News. “They need to get rid of the statute of limitations. How can anyone who has not been a victim say when somebody is ready to speak about this?”

UPDATE: Three more alleged victims have come forward to accuse Bambaataa of sexual abuse, The New York Daily News reports. “He is a pervert,” said Hassan Campbell, who claims that Bambaataa molested him multiple times when he was 12 and 13 years old. “He likes little boys.”

“I know what Ronald Savage is saying is true because he did it to me,” said another man who wished to remain anonymous. “I have never spoken to anybody about this and when I did, I said ‘Holy shit, they finally caught up to him.'”

A 51-year-old former New Yorker named Troy, who requested that his last name not be used, told The News Bambaataa abused him too. “I still have a lot of anger about this,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with this for years. It’s a shame this didn’t come out earlier.”

Bambaataa and his lawyer have not yet responded to these new allegations.