Afrika Bambaataa being outed as an alleged child molester has been a low-boiling event in the world of hip-hop for the last couple months. The Zulu Nation may have dropped him from their ranks, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still have supporters.
Fellow problematic legend KRS-One has been coming to the Planet Rock artist’s side for a while, most recently earlier this month (July 15). During a Q&A session in Birmingham, England, the Boogie Down Productions member used Bambaataa’s legendary status as a reason for people to keep quiet.
“When you’re talking about Afrika Bambaataa, first of all, you’re talking about the person who invented hip-hop,” he said. “Not participated in it. There was no hip-hop before Afrika Bambaataa. Let’s start there. So anyone who has a problem with Afrika Bambaataa should quit hip-hop.”
Digging himself further into that hole, KRS throws blame on those who have spoken out (“I hope for healing for everyone involved. First for those who are accusing Afrika Bambaataa. Accusing. No evidence, no convictions. OK, but we will at least give you the benefit of the doubt.”) before declaring that “our leadership has to be untouchable.” Really.
KRS has stood firm in his defense of Bambaataa, especially on N.O.R.E.’s Drink Champs podcast where he originally made his feelings clear: “Personally – me personally – I don’t give a fuck. Personally. Look, if somebody was harmed or whatever, y’all gotta deal with that shit. Deal with it. That don’t stop hip-hop. That don’t stop what you did for hip-hop. It don’t take away none of it. History is history. But deal with that. That’s personal.”
Does KRS’ status make him beyond reproach here?