OPINION-I will be a fan of the hip-hop culture for infinity, and nothing will change that fact. Since, I am classified as a hip-hop baby so to speak, I have been fortunate enough to watch nearly the early beginnings of the culture, which includes the five elements: The B-Boy/B-Girl, DJing, The Emcee, Graffiti, and Knowledge. With that being said, the culture has evolved into different things, and some of them aren’t good.
When I heard one of the founding founders of hip-hop in Afrika Bambaataa being accused by several young men of being molested by him a while back, it became more than just giving Bambaataa the side-eyed. Yes, I know Bambaataa wasn’t formally brought up on charges, and it doesn’t help the accusations allegedly occurred decades ago. Like the old saying where there is smoke, there is fire immediately popped up in my head. Too many accusers have stepped forward stating that Bambaataa molested them. Bambaataa was subsequently kicked out of the Zulu Nation due to the allegations after the scandal broke.
There were a few rappers that came to the defense of Bambaataa like KRS-One and Monie Love early on when the news about the allegations reached the media. I thought it would be a few supporters earlier on, so I wasn’t in the least surprised. The story died down, due to other events in the media, but that didn’t stop KRS-One from rehashing things again, but this time giving hip-hop fans the business.
“When you’re talking about Afrika Bambaataa, first of all, you’re talking about the person who invented hip-hop,” KRS-One said in the sit-down. “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.”
The “South Bronx” rapper also dismissed the allegations as “accusations and gossip” and said he believed Bambaataa was beyond reprimand.
“Some of us are infallible,” KRS-One said. “Some of us are going to have to be untouchable or our entire culture is going to fall. Our culture cannot fall on the accusations of four people, that’s weak.”
It is so disappointing to hear a guy we affectionally nickname “The Teacher” because he has kicked some serious knowledge tell hip-hop fans that if anyone of us has a problem with Bambaataa, we should quit hip-hop. What KRS-One needs to understand (which I’m sure he does, he is just willfully playing ignorant) this has nothing to do with hip-hop, it’s all about ethics and integrity. One can still praise Bambaataa for his contributions to the culture, but one can’t dismiss the allegations as just a pure rumor. Nor, should we protect Bambaataa because he is one of the founding founders of hip-hop. That’s like praising a man like Thomas Jefferson, just because he is a founding father. We all know Jefferson is a rapist and a slave owner, that I’m sure committed more than rape against Black women, but I’ll digress. Therefore, I couldn’t care less how much influence and Bambaataa’s contribution to the culture, has been enacted. If these allegations are true (which we will probably never know), he should receive added scrutiny and critique.
There have been so many artists that I admired on a entertainment, innovative level that has skeletons in their closet. Some artists have been accused of heinous crimes, but I still love them as artists, and learned how to separate the two. KRS-One needs to do the same thing, and stop defending alleged child molesters by claiming it is corrupting what Bambaataa has accomplished for the culture. I know if there were a Mount Rushmore of hip-hop, Bambaataa would work on it. At the same time, just because Bambaataa is on a mountain, doesn’t mean he should be exempt from any backlash.
KRS-One, who I continue to have in my top 3 emcees of all-time, is being deflective, and Bambaataa’s defense attorney. KRS-One is an artist that only cares about the imagery of the hip-hop culture, then ensuring those that have possibly violated the law be held accountable, regardless of the fact they are hip-hop royalty. That’s not something one should strive to wear that distinctive title, especially if one is called “The Teacher” because honestly the only thing he is teaching is how to be an apologist for an alleged child molester.
Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?