The Afrika Bambaataa Case: Of Guilt, Innocence, Social Media & Survivors

AllHipHop’s Chuck Creekmur, lawyer Peter Brill and Christopher Anderson of Male Survivor (abuse advocacy organization) talk to Lisa Evers of Hot 97’s Street Soldiers/ New York’s Fox 5 about the charges against Afrika Bambaataa, the validity and the legal implications of the allegations.

Afrika Bambaataa has been the subject of scorn for months as allegations of sexual abuse of boys has taken a front seat in the rich legacy of one of Hip-Hop’s Founding Fathers. The legend broke his silence recently in an exclusive TV interview with Lisa Evers of Fox 5. Evers asked Bambaataa very directly: “Have you ever abused any underage boy?”

“I never abused nobody. You know, it just sounds crazy to people to say that, hear ‘you abused me,’” Bambaataa said in the interview. “You know my thing is you know all my people back then, you know the hundreds of people that been around me. If something like that happened, why you never went to none of them?”

In a candid discussion, Chuck Creekmur, attorney Peter Brill and Male Survivor’s Christopher Anderson examine a myriad of topic matter surrounding the case with Lisa Evers. Anderson, for example reveals why a male victim of sexual abuse may take longer to come forward. Brill talks the legalities of these cases and how a celebrity like Afrika Bambaataa and be maligned through the media. Creekmur speaks on how Hip-Hop has dealt with the matter as a community, particular as a pioneer under scrutiny.

Check out the entire conversation on Evers’ Street Soldiers podcast. The story continues below the player.

Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force crafted a hit, 1986’s hit “Planet Rock.” The song is regarded as one of the most influential, transformative songs ever. The 59-year old is also known as morphing New York street gangs into the international Zulu Nation, a positive organization that has. Essentially, Bambaataa is a worldwide ambassador of Hip-Hop culture. He seemed baffled at the accusations, the timing and the motives of those that claim he victimized them.

“What is the motivation, what is the agenda?” he said. “It’s hard to say. You don’t know what many of these people are thinking. What is behind it. Some parts are saying it could be shakeups. Certain things people might have wanted.”

Ronald Savage is 50 years old. He is the first person to go on record to accuse Bam of sexual misconduct, which was complimented by years of unsubstantiated rumors. Savage alleges that Bambaataa first molested him in 1980 at the age of 15 (the age of consent is 17 in New York). Savage claimed he skipped school and it lead to his first sexual experience with the rap music pioneer.

Savage said, “I didn’t have nowhere to go so I had his number and I called him and he paid for the cab for me to go to his house. “I couldn’t believe it. I was confused, I was little nervous. I was just wondering, the other guy coming into the room, what was they going to do to me?”

Bee Stinger, Savage’s old Hip-Hop moniker, claims he was molested numerous times, causing him to hate himself.  He was unable to move forward legally, because the statue of limitations in New York has long passed. Underage victims cannot pursue their accused attackers after they turn 23.

Bambaataa calls Savage a liar.

“The brother knows the people who he came around in my group with, and knows that he wasn’t in my presence unless among those people and he needs to go back and speak to those people who were part of our organization and deal with them. And stop all this type of craziness that they been trying to put by attacking me,” Bambaataa said, seeming to say the alleged abuse happened with others.

 You never touched Ronald “Bee Stinger” inappropriately?

Bambaataa: “I ain’t touched this brother whatsoever.”

Three other men have come forward with very similar claims. No criminal charges can be brought against Bambaataa in these cases and he has yet to be accused by anybody that can file against him civilly or criminally.

After defending Bambaataa steadfastly, The Zulu Nation has severed ties with its founder and leader.

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