afrika-bambaataa-responds-to-sexual-assault-allegations
Getty Images

Afrika Bambaataa Calls Sexual Assault Allegations "A Cowardly Attempt To Tarnish My Reputation"

"This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities."

A former member of the Zula Nation, music executive and author Ronald "Bee-Stinger" Savage came forward last week and accused hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa of sexually assaulting him when he was a teen.

“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” Savage told the New York Daily News. “I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”

On Tuesday (April 12) at the advisement of his legal council Afrika Bambaataa released a statement with Rolling Stone vehemently denying any and all allegations, and going as far to call them "baseless" and "cowardly."

"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," Bambaataa says in a statement to Rolling Stone. "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."

In Savage's self-published memoir Impulse Urges and Fantasies, Savage said he was 15 years old the first time the "Planet Rock" DJ sexually assaulted him. In grave detail, Savage told the Daily News of two separate accounts in which Bambaataa allegedly assaulted him. The first when he fondled himself and then Savage, the second was when Bambaataa forced him to perform oral sex on another older member of the Zulu Nation.

"I hated myself," Savage said. "I don't even know why I did that. I don’t even know how he got me to do that. It was like I was hypnotized."

Savage, eventually distanced himself from the Zulu Nation, which he said once protected him from the crime that ravaged the Bronx in the late 80s. Bambaataa's lawyer Vivian Kimi Tozaki also dismissed the allegations leveled against Bambaataa.

"Defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him," she said. "The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity."

From the Web

More on Vibe

Allen Berezovsky

Lauren London Debuts The Marathon Clothing x Puma Collection

Lauren London and PUMA are teaming up once again for a collaboration honoring the late Nipsey Hussle. London debuted the Marathon Clothing x Puma’s “Hussle and Motivate” collection on social media on Thursday (Jan. 23).

London is featured in the promo shoot with Hussle's close friends, YG, J. Stone, and Pacman Da Gunman.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:56pm PST

Another image from the clothing collaboration shows London wearing a white sweatshirt with a message that reads, “We (The Marathon Clothing) honor the unwavering faith of those that never quit. Our products represent their testimony. Life is a marathon.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:58pm PST

London previously linked with Puma for a viral video campaign paying tribute to her longtime love. Hustle, whose Victory Lap recently went platinum, will be celebrated at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards with a tribute featuring YG, Roddy Ricch, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled and John Legend.

The Grammys air on CBS on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8p.m. ET.

Continue Reading
Lil Wayne performs at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park on August 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Lil Wayne Reveals Release Date For ‘Funeral’ Album

Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his  Funeral album will drop next week.

“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.

The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.

Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.

Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.

1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020

Continue Reading
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Black People Make Up More Than 50% Of U.S. Homeless Population, Study Finds

Black people in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by homelessness, per an Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Housing and Urban Department. According to the report, blacks account for more than 50% of the country’s homeless population, despite making up only 13% of the U.S. population.

“African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report states. “African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52% of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

“In contrast, 48% of all people experiencing homelessness were white, compared with 77% of the U.S. population.” People identifying as Hispanic or Latino are bout “22% of the homeless population but only 18% of the populations overall.”

As of 2019, the U.S. homeless population swelled to 568,000, an increase of about 10,000 from the previous year. In 2019, Roughly 35,000 of those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness were under the age of 25, a 4% decrease from 2018. The number of those experiencing chronic homelessness increased by 9% between 2018 and 2019.

A staggering 52% of black families experience homelessness, compared to 35% for white families.

The goal of the report is to “demonstrate continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also a need to re-calibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities.”

HUD, which is has been releasing the annual housing stats since 2007, shows a 3% bump in the number of those experiencing homelessness on any given night, a 16% increase in California, and a “decrease” in other states. California accounts for 53% (108,432 people) off all unsheltered homeless people in the country. Despite being only twice as large as Florida, California’s homeless population is nine times that of the Sunshine State, which came in at a distant second place with 6% (12,476 people). New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people.

Numerous variables come into play when determining the origin of the black homeless epidemic due to a longstanding system of oppression in housing, and beyond. Black families are twice as  likely to experience poverty in the U.S., compared to white families; and in spite of laws against open discrimination, black renters face overt and covert financial and racial prejudice, in addition to gentrification and the racial pay gap.

On Jan. 7, HUD unveiled a housing proposal that attempts to undue Obama-era housing mandates put in place to prevent racial discrimination. The newly-released proposal may end up further promoting racial discrimination.

Continue Reading

Top Stories