Ronald Savage, a former music producer and politician, wrote a self-published memoir, Impulses, Urgencies and Fantasies: Life Is a Bag of Mixed Emotions, Volume 1, revealing he was molested as a child. He also said the perpetrator is hip hop legend, Universal Zulu Nation founder, and DJ, Afrika Bambaataa, from South Bronx, New York.
The accusations have sent shockwaves throughout the hip-hop community. Some Zulu Nation members have accused Ronald of outright lying, stating he only wants to increase book sales. However, Ronald stated a therapist told him to write down his thoughts to relieve fear and anxiety.
When the sexual abuse began, he was a ninth grader. The first time it happened, he said that he had skipped classes and stopped by Bambaataa’s house. Ronald was one of many young “crate boys” who carried crates of records for DJs in the hip-hop collective. For him, it was about community, music, and fun, per the Daily Mail.
Savage stated that the initial abuse started with the DJ touching himself, then Savage, and asking another man to join in. After this, Savage said he fled. Eventually, it progressed into other acts, and Savage blamed himself when the abuse continued. At the time the first incident occurred, Ronald said he had never been touched by anyone. Four other incidents followed.
— VibeMagazine (@VibeMagazine) April 10, 2016
Ronald stated he is not seeking monetary compensation from now 58-year-old Afrika but is looking to change laws on the statute of limitations. As a victim, Savage said it has taken his this long to gather the courage to speak about what happened due to shame. As New York laws now stand, if a child sex abuse survivor does not speak out before the age of 23, he or she cannot file criminal or civil charges. He feels this isn’t fair because he didn’t even tell his mother until he was that age. Later, he told a few girlfriends and a now ex-wife. However, Savage now wants to confront his alleged abuser.
“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up. I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”
Ronald Savage is so brave. I hope his harrowing story encourages other survivors to come forth and a change in law https://t.co/NxM9AaZx9a
— Daniellè DASH (@DanielleDASH) April 10, 2016
The victim said he struggled with intimacy and suicidal thoughts for years after the abuse ended. He said he hated himself for allowing the abuse, a feeling that many victims have although they may have been coerced or threatened. Ronald said he didn’t tell anyone for a long time because he worried that if he did, his mother or sister might have been harmed.
Bambaataa hasn’t directly responded to the allegations, but his attorney, Kimi Tozaki, released a statement, the Daily Mail also noted.
“Defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him. The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity, and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity.”
Although there are naysayers, Ronald also has supporters. Chuck Freeze (real name Charles Foushee), a member of the Jazzy Five, who once performed with Bambaataa remembers Savage as a person of honesty and integrity, noted the Daily News.
“Ronald was the kind of guy you could trust. You could leave money on the table and know it would be there when you got back. A really good dude. Easy to talk to. Very intelligent. We had no idea about this — and we would not have tolerated it if we did. Do I believe it? Yes, I do.”
Quadeer Shakur, a high-ranking Zulu member, threatened to file a lawsuit and hinted that Savage only made up the stories to sell his book. Based on Bronx court records, this isn’t true because Savage told his ex-wife about the abuse long before he published the book. His accusations were referred to in court when Daniel Harris, his ex-wife’s boyfriend, threatened Savage via phone on December 3, 2010. Harris told Savage that he knew about what happened with Bambaataa. Apparently, the source of the information was the ex-wife.
[Photo by Buzzent/Wikimedia Commons]
Warning: The video contains graphic language.