Africa Bambaataa abused me
“He is a pervert.” “He likes little boys.” – One of his victims
Afrika Bambaataa was not just a hip-hop star when Hassan Campbell began hanging out at his Bronx apartment during the late 1980s — he was also a father figure.
When Campbell was hungry, Bambaataa gave him a meal. When Campbell needed a place to stay because of troubles at home, Bambaataa gave him a bed. When Campbell needed money, Bambaataa gave him cash.
“He had the most fun house in the world,” recalled Campbell, 39. “There were celebrities there, musicians, neighborhood heroes. It was the best place to be – and the worst place to be.”
It was the worst place to be because Bambaataa sexually abused him numerous times when he was 12 and 13 years old, Campbell told the Daily News.
“He is a pervert,” Campbell added. “He likes little boys.”
Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation issued a statement claiming the allegations by Hassan
Campbell (pictured), Ronald Savage and others are part of a government conspiracy.
Campbell and several other men told The News last week that they were sexually abused by Bambaataa, the South Bronx hip-hop pioneer whose 1982 hit “Planet Rock” helped turn rap music into an international phenomenon.
The men stepped forward after The News published a story last Sunday about former music industry executive and Democratic Party activist Ronald Savage, who claims Bambaataa abused him at least five times in 1980, inflicting deep emotional wounds.
“I know what Ronald Savage is saying is true because he did it to me,” said a 50-year-old New York man who requested anonymity. “I have never spoken to anybody about this and when I did, I said ‘Holy s—, they finally caught up to him.'”
Photo: Henny Ray Abrams/AP
Bambaataa, a hip hop hall of famer, has denied the allegations through his lawyer, Vivian Kimi Tozaki.
Savage is happy others are willing to back his claims. He said he wants to keep talking about his experiences to pressure state lawmakers to reform New York’s statute of limitations for sex abuse cases, which bars child victims from pursuing criminal charges or civil litigation after their 23rd birthday.
Savage says he supports the Child Victim Act, the bill by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) that would eliminate the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases and open up a one-year window for older victims to pursue litigation. He also supports a bill sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) that would also remove the 90-day window required to file a notice of claim – the first step in a lawsuit — against a public or government entity. The Catholic Church has long argued that the 90-day requirement for public entities was unfair to private institutions.
“The right thing to do is come out and take care of the statute of limitations,” Savage said.
Bambaataa’s attorney Vivian Kimi Tozaki did not return requests for comment on the new allegations, but she sharply denied Savage’s account in a statement issued last week.
Savage told the Daily News he was “damaged” by Bambaataa’s abuse. Others have since come forward with similar allegations against the once-revered rapper.
Zulu Nation, the international hip-hop organization Bambaataa founded in the 1970s, has repeatedly denied the claims against Bambaataa. The group rebutted the accusations, including a bizarre denial that claims the sexual abuse allegations are part of a United States government plot to discredit and destroy the organization.
But a 51-year-old former New Yorker named Troy, who asked that his last name not be used in this story, told The News Bambaataa abused him, too.
“I still have a lot of anger about this,” said Troy, who lives in North Carolina. “I’ve been dealing with this for years. It’s a shame this didn’t come out earlier.”
Campbell and Bambaataa’s other accusers all say the music star showed them pornographic pictures or videos and then performed oral sex on them.
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James Keivom/New York Daily News
Campbell is the latest to accuse Bambaataa of sex abuse.
“He showed me a book with a picture of a penis and said, ‘You don’t have to be gay for me to suck your d—,” Troy said.
Campbell says he remained close to Bambaataa years after the abuse stopped. Bambaataa sent him books and put money in his commissary account when he was incarcerated for three years on an assault charge.
“He was a big part of my life,” says Campbell, known on the street as “Poppy.”
Campbell posted an angry video accusing Bambaataa of sexual abuse several months ago but he said he took the video down after Bambaataa and Zulu Nation officials agreed to meet
Campbell says he supports efforts by Sens. Brad Hoylman and Andrea Stewart-Cousins to ease the burden of filing a sex abuse claim.
Campbell said Bambaataa acknowledged the abuse and apologized to him at that meeting. The hip-hop pioneer promised he would get counseling, open up a center for troubled youth and step down from the Zulu Nation.
“He never did any of those things,” Campbell said. “He’s a manipulator and a liar. He’s just waiting for this chaos to blow over so he can go back to his dark, dingy hole and go back to his old ways. He needs to put down the candy and let the little boys go.”
Zulu Nation, meanwhile, called Campbell “both a liar and a government paid police informant.”
Star, the former Hot 97 and Power 105 DJ who has posted interviews with Campbell and Troy on his YouTube channel, said his audience was originally split on Savage’s allegations. But the tide has turned, he said.
“People are taking this very seriously,” Star said. “Zulu Nation needs to demand that Afrika Bambaataa step down. If you believe black lives really matter, you have to stand up to this.