One of the most revered names in the history of hip hop is facing sexual abuse allegations.
Kevin Donovan, better known as Afrika Bambaataa, a DJ who was a major influence on the development oft the hip hop culture in the 1970s and 80s, is facing sexual abuse charges, after multiple victims have come forward in the past two weeks.
Ronald Savage, a former state committeeman and former member of Afrika Bambaataa’s Universal Zulu Nation, alleges that he was a victim of sexual abuse by Bambaataa when he was an adolescent.
According to Savage, the first incident occurred when he was 15-years-old.
Savage, who was in the Universal Zulu Nation at the time, said he frequently hung out with the group’s members, including DJ Jazzy J, who at the time was a protege of Bambaataa’s.
According to Savage’s, account he was in ninth grade at Stephenson High School at the time. He cut class and called Bambaataa because he had nowhere else to go for the day.
According to Savage, Bambaataa paid for a cab to bring him over to his apartment.
A few minutes after he arrived at Bambaataa’s home, Savage was asked to go into his bedroom with him, where the hip hop legend proceeded to sexually pleasure himself and asked Savage to do the same, Savage alleges.
“I didn’t know what to do – I was nervous and scared,” Savage said. “I remember doing whatever he (Bambaataa) asked me to do, because I just wanted to be down with the Zulu Nation.”
After the incident, Savage claims he ran out of the apartment crying. A lady saw him and drove him back to school.
The second instance allegedly occurred a few months later, after Savage had apparently forgiven Bambaataa for the previous incident.
Savage was at his sister’s boyfriend’s home with Bambaataa, who proceeded to ask him and his sister’s boyfriend to engage in oral sex.
Savage alleges that Bambaataa switched back and forth between two.
The third incident is alleged to have occurred when Bambaataa came over to Savage’s home and allegedly had Savage lay down on the bed while Bambaataa threw his body on top of him, while they were both undressed.
Savage cited at least two more incidents between him and Bambaataa.
The accusser then decided to stay away from the music icon.
“I had to tell myself that whenever he knocks on my door, I won’t answer it,” Savage said. “I knew I didn’t want to be around him or have anything to do with him, but he (Bambaataa) was so powerful, so who was I going to tell?”
Savage, who has suffered from depression and intimacy issues as a result of these incidents, also said that his therapist told him to write all of his feeling and thoughts on paper, which he did when he wrote his autobiography, ‘Impulses, Urges and Fantasies’, in 2014.
According to reports, at least three other victims have come forward regarding Bambaataa’s alleged acts.
As of press time, neither Afrika Bambaataa or the Universal Zulu Nation returned requests for comment.
Baambaataa denied the allegations when he spoke on the Ed Lover Show earlier this week.
“We encourage outlets to address this issue, as ignoring the story or poorly regurgitating coverage from elsewhere represents an egregious dereliction of responsibility,” said the Center for Hip Hop Advocacy in a released statement.
“However, we ask that the mainstream press and members of the general public not only respect the severity of these allegations, but the fact that hip-hop is a complex, multi-faceted culture with many individuals and organizations who are a part of, but do not necessarily define, represent or speak for hip-hop as a whole,” the group concluded.
Bambaataa, who grew up in the Bronx River Projects, became a member and soon a warlord of the Black Spades, an predominantly African American street gang that fought against racism, crime, drug dealing and substance abuse and addiction and were influenced by Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers,
In the mid-1970s, Bambaataa formed the Universal Zulu Nation with several members of the Black Spades.
In 1982, Bambaataa, who specialized in combining hip hop and electro elements, released arguably his greatest single, ‘Planet Rock.”
Cornell University currently holds Bambaataa’s archives of hip hop artifacts, which includes thousands of vinyls, cassettes, CDs, films, videos, photographs, magazines, books and party and event flyers from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In March, Cornell received a grant of $260,000 to preserve the collection.