Rock in Rio 2011 - Day 4

After a young man accused legendary hip-hop artist Afrika Bambaataa of sexual assault back in March, the floodgates have opened.

Three more men spoke out against the legend in April, and today, they’re talking about the traumatic incidents that still affect them today. On Tuesday, VICE published an article in which they interview three of Bambaataa’s alleged victims and investigate “a decades-long cover-up by the Zulu Nation and a hidden network of victims whose lives were allegedly haunted by death threats, suicides, drug abuse, and violence.”

Ron Savage was the first victim to speak out about Bambaataa assaulting him, and one of the first people interviewed by VICE. Savage says Bambaataa molested him in 1980 and abused him at least four or five more times. Hassan Campbell was the second alleged victim interviewed by the site, and admitted that Bambaataa’s abuse was a regular occurrence. “This wasn’t no one time thing,” he said. “This was an ongoing thing for several years.”

Campbell added that there are more victims who are afraid to come forward because “Bam was like the godfather. A lot of parents in our community were on drugs, and Bam took advantage of that.” Another man, who is only identified by his first name “Troy” in the article, also spoke on his intimate relationship with Bambaataa.

Often comparing the entire Zulu Nation to the Catholic Church’s reputation for sexually assaulting young men, the victims claim that both organizations take advantage of boys from unstable families and are concerned first and foremost with protecting its own members. One of Bambaataa’s former associates said, “Bam took the kids who were struggling—the kids who didn’t have good parents and had nothing. It’s all about the money. These guys [in Zulu Nation] are on the payroll—doing security, carrying equipment. A lot of them have felony records. They can’t get other jobs. They needed that paycheck. So they would keep quiet.”

Check out the entire VICE piece here.

SOURCE: VICE | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 

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