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Afrika Bambaataa Accused Of Sexual Molestation

"I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” says Savage. "I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”

Just seven days before hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa's 58th birthday, former music industry executive and author Ronald Savage has come forward accusing Bambaataa of sexual molestation.

In an exclusive interview with The New York's Daily News, Savage 50, says he was just 15 years old when the "Planet Rock" artist began abusing him, inflicting deep emotional wounds that led to suicidal thoughts. Savage has lived with these claims for the past 36 years, and has broken his silence with the release of his self-published memoir Impulse Urges and Fantasies.

"I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” says Savage. "I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”

Savage--who was also a member of the Zulu Nation which Bambaataa founded--says he's also speaking out because he wants to change the statue of limitations in New York, which prohibits sexual abuse victims from pursuing criminal charges or civil penalties after their 23rd birthday.

“I think the statute of limitations is unfair for victims,” he says. “It took me all of these years to speak about this. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed.”

Savage, who's adamant about not wanting a payday from Bambaataa, says The Bronx native was 23 years old and already a well known and respected artist when he first began molesting him. According to Savage, there were five specific incidents that occurred, and yet he didn't go to the police. It was only much later in life that he confided in his mother, ex wife and a few past girlfriends.

The first sexual assault took place at Bambaataa's house, which he went to after skipping school one day. According to Savage, Bambaataa fondled himself and Savage. He then invited another man to join in. During a second incident, Bambaataa allegedly ordered Savage to perform oral sex on an older Zulu Nation member.

“I hated myself,” Savage says. “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.”

A call to Bambaataa  by the Daily News was not returned, but his lawyer released a statement vehemently denying Savage's claims.

"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, referring to Savage’s book. “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.”

Savage says he escaped Bambaataa's torment by pulling away from the popular and influential collective and swore to himself he would one day he wouldn't go to his grave with this secret.

“I promised myself before I die, I’m going to let the world know what happened to me,” Savage said.

 

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

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Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

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Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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