Longtime music manager and founder of Disturbing Tha Peace Records, Chaka Zulu (born Ahmed Obafemi), has been charged with murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm, and more, CNN reports.
Obafemi, whose best known as Ludacris’ manager, was involved in the deadly shooting that took place at Atlanta’s APT 4B restaurant in June, leaving three men injured. One of the victims, Artez Jamil Benton, 23, died after being transported to the hospital. Obafemi turned himself into authorities on Sept. 13th and later posted a $200,000 bail. The 52-year-old music executive was arrested on the charges of murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and simple battery. Police reports did not name a motive for the shooting. However, Obafemi is claiming self-defense.
On Saturday (Sept. 17), Obafemi’s legal representatives issued an official statement. “Mr. Chaka Zulu, a beloved son of the City of Atlanta, is disappointed in the Atlanta Police Department’s decision to bring charges against him surrounding the shooting that occurred in June 2022,” it reads.
“A close review of all of the evidence, including the surveillance footage and eyewitness interviews, reveal that Mr. Zulu was attacked and jumped from behind by a gang of at least four (4) individuals (sadly including the decedent) and was forced to defend himself after this gang repeatedly stomped, punched, and kicked him while he was on the ground in a defenseless posture. Mr. Zulu was shot in the back during the shooting and nearly lost his life, and is still recovering from the nearly fatal injuries he sustained that evening.”
It continues, “Mr. Zulu was at his place of business that night and had every right to defend himself. In an attempt to save his life, Mr. Zulu lawfully discharged his weapon in self-defense, a weapon that he was licensed to carry. Mr. Zulu fully cooperated with law enforcement officials and their investigation, and voluntarily turned himself in once he learned of the arrest warrants. Mr. Zulu remains confident that his name will be cleared of these charges through the judicial process. It is not lost on Mr. Zulu that someone lost his life, but had Mr. Zulu not lawfully defended himself, Mr. Zulu would have been killed that night.”
Ahmed Obafemi started Disturbing Tha Peace Records with his brother Jeff Dixon and Ludacris in 1998. The label was behind a majority of Grammy-winning rapper and actor Ludacris’ music, including the 2006 album Release Therapy.
As this is an ongoing case, VIBE will be sure to keep you updated.