Hip-hop co-founder Afrika Bambaataa is on the receiving end of sexual misconduct allegations that started surfacing last month. The allegations started from former New York State Democratic Committee member Ronald Savage.
According to Savage, Bambaataa sexually abused him as a teenager, adding that he met the Universal Zulu Nation member when he was 12 or 13. BET notes that Savage’s age then would have put Bambaataa at roughly 21 at the time.
During a radio interview with Shot97.com, Savage publicly discussed the alleged molestation from Bambaataa and his reasons for coming forward after all this time.
“It took me this long to actually get this out and to be able to really talk about it,” Savage said. Although he addressed his past interactions with Bambaataa in his book, Impulses, Urges and Fantasies, Savage used a different name as he went into his version of what happened between him and the legendary DJ.
“I wanted to be down with the in-crowd, not really understanding what Bambaataa was doing to me was actually molesting me,” he said.
As for why he didn’t speak out sooner, Savage mentioned a variety of reasons he stayed silent, including the notion of males not typically speaking up about sexual misconduct.
Although Savage’s claims could be proven true or admitted to by Bambaataa, chances of the hip-hop co-founder actually answering for the crime are slim, in light of the fact that the statue of limitations has expired. As a result, no criminal charges can be filed against Bambaataa.
However, since Savage made his claims public, three more men have come forward with similar allegations: A man named Hassan Campbell told the New York Daily News that Bambaataa repeatedly sexually abused him when Campbell was 12 and 13, calling the DJ a “pervert” who “likes little boys.” Two other men whose identities were not fully disclosed also say Bambaataa abused them when they were minors — a former bodyguard also claims Bambaataa abused “hundreds” of young boys since the early 1970s.
Bambaataa has denied all of the allegations.
Initially, the Universal Zulu Nation (which Bambaataa founded in the ’70s) defended their leader, calling the accusations a “government-sponsored media attack.” But in a press release issued recently, the organization now says it is significantly restructuring its leadership. Despite not mentioning Bambaataa by name, they note: “ALL accused parties and those accused of covering up the current allegations of child molestation have been removed and have stepped down from their current positions.”