Hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa has been in the headlines recently after former Zulu Nation member Ronald "Bee-Stinger" Savage accused Bambaataa of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager. Now, the "Planet Rock" rapper has released an official response to Rolling Stone. In his statement, he calls the accusations "baseless" and a "cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time." You can read his whole statement below.
"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."
Savage originally leveled the accusations in his self-published memoir Impulse, Urges and Fantasies (Life Is a Bag of Mixed Emotions): The True Untold Story of Pioneer Hip Hop Artist Liaison Bee-Stinger. He elaborated on them in an interview with The New York Daily News, saying Bambaataa had abused him at least five times. In one such incident, he claims Bambaataa fondled himself and Savage, and in another, he claims he was forced to perform oral sex on another member of the Zulu Nation. These alleged incidents occurred when he was 15 years old, and have caused him to have problems with intimacy and suicidal thoughts.
He claims he is speaking out not for money or attention, but to help change statue of limitation laws that prohibit him from bringing criminal charges against Bambaataa. Under current law, if felony sexual abuse occurs when the victim is under the age of 18, they have 5 years to bring charges against the perpetrator. Savage is currently 50 , and the statute of limitations has long passed.
Clearly Bambaataa will be vigorously defending himself against these allegations, and as such, it's likely that we haven't heard the last of this very sad story.