Photo Credit: Al Pereira/WireImage
Protesters Clash With Universal Hip Hop Museum Over Alleged Ties to Afrika Bambaataa
Hip-Hop Stands With Survivors is protesting against Universal Hip Hop Museum's Rocky Bucano for his affiliation with Afrika Bambaataa.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum (or UHHM) is under fire for its alleged affiliation with Afrika Bambaataa. In a Rolling Stone article published Tuesday (March 28),the organization Hip Hop Stands with Survivors called out Rocky Bucano, Executive Director, President and Chairman of the UHHM, for his alleged ties to the Zulu Nation. The advocacy organization has called for Bucano to step down, citing Zulu Nation founder, Bambaataa, being accused of child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking.
"[We want] Rocky Bucano to step down, because if they got a responsible person in there, then the Zulu Nation affiliation would go away automatically,” journalist Leila Willis told RS. "We are going to stay on the elected officials to stop our public dollars from funding that museum, from the mayor to the Bronx Borough president to the state legislators and congress. They are re-traumatizing survivors all the time with all that Zulu stuff.”
Since 2016, numerous men have publicly accused Bambataa, legal name Lance Taylor, of sexual abuse, one even filing a civil suit against the "Planet Rock" artist. Also in 2016, Taylor called the claims "baseless," even appearing on The Ed Lover Show With Monie Love to defend himself. “Is it because I’m still being relevant today, trying to do things that help people all across the world, trying to start a hip-hop museum?” he said on the show.
In response to the RS article, Mayor Eric Adams, the self-proclaimed "first hip-hop mayor" gave a statement on Taylor and UHHM having allegedly "cut ties" seven years ago. “The Universal Hip Hop Museum assured the administration that they cut ties with the Universal Zulu Nation and that Afrika Bambaataa has not had a role at the Universal Hip Hop Museum since 2016,” reads a statement from Adams' office.
Bucano also released a separate statement denouncing his alleged ties to Bambaataa, denying that he has any involvement with the 65-year-old. “I would like to make it clear that Afrika Bambaataa has not had a role at the Universal Hip Hop Museum since 2016. I and the Universal Hip Hop Museum are not party to any activities affiliated with the Universal Zulu Nation,” Bucano stated.
He added, “As a cultural institution, the UHHM and I, as its Executive Director, take the allegations made against Afrika Bambaataa very seriously and express sincere empathy for the victims of abuse and their trauma. Since our establishment as a cultural institution, we have worked diligently to serve and uplift.”