A collective known as Hip Hop Stands With Survivors is calling for the Universal Hip Hop Museum to formally part ways with Executive Director Rocky Bucano, Afrika Bambaataa and the Universal Zulu Nation.
Multiple men have accused Afrika Bambaataa of taking part in sexual child abuse, child pornography and child sex trafficking. Law enforcement authorities haven’t charged the South Bronx-raised DJ with any crimes, and Afrika Bambaataa (born Lance Taylor) has denied any wrongdoing.
Hip Hop Stands With Survivors wants New York City Mayor Eric Adams to end all taxpayer funding for the Universal Hip Hop Museum. The collective also demands Microsoft and other publicly traded companies cease any partnerships with the UHHM until the institution addresses its grievances.
“While some things may seem unrelated, they are necessary to show the full picture and that Rocky Bucano’s ties to Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation are unbreakable and irreversible,” wrote Hip Hop Stands With Survivors representative Leila Wills in a letter to the Universal Hip Hop Museum Board and Legal Counsel David Miller.
“We expect his resignation or for the board to vote him out of the museum’s leadership and for the museum to sever all ties with Bucano, Bambaataa, and the Zulu Nation,” she added. “Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to its swift resolution.”
The Universal Hip Hop Museum states it takes the allegations against Afrika Bambaataa seriously and denounces all acts of violence and abuse. Bucano issued a statement in response to Hip Hop Stands With Survivors.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum and Mr. Bucano condemn all acts of acts of violence and abuse.
I would like to make it clear that Afrika Bambaataa has not had a role at the Universal Hip Hop Museum since 2016. I and the Univeral Hip Hop Museum are not party to any activities affiliated with the Universal Zulu Nation I affirm that the Universal Hip Hop Museum is committed to its mission to empower, educate, and uplift communities. While it is true that Afrika Bambaataa was a founding member of the museum, he was removed from any involvement with the museum as soon as the allegations surfaced. He has never been a board member, advisory board member or volunteer.
I have never been a member of the Universal Zulu Nation nor am I an agent of the organization or Afrika Bambaataa. The assertion that UHHM is a financial front for the Universal Zulu Nation, Afrika Bambaataa, or other Univeral Zulu Nation members, is irresponsible, false, and misdirected. The word “universal” in the museum’s title is not in connection to the Universal Zulu Nation or any other such named entertainment organization. The “universal” in the organization’s name refers to the recognition of the culturally diverse nature of Hip Hop and the global impact the genre has had over the past 50 years.
As a cultural institution, the UHHM and I, as its Executive Director, take the allegations made against Afrika Bambaataa very seriously and express sincere empathy for the victims of abuse and their trauma. Since our establishment as a cultural institution, we have worked diligently to serve and uplift. I am committed to and promise our stakeholders and those we serve to uphold our mission with integrity and ethics.