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Victim advocates protest opening of Universal Hip Hop Museum over ties to Afrika Bambaataa

Hip Hop Stands With Survivors protested in the wake of a sex abuse lawsuit against Afrika Bambaataa, a prominent hip-hop figure with ties to the founding of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Carmen Grant and Adolfo Carrion

Mar 27, 2023, 9:51 PM

Updated 450 days ago

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Members of the group Hip Hop Stands With Survivors held up signs and protested outside of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in lower Manhattan.  
The advocates are protesting in the wake of a sex abuse lawsuit against a prominent hip-hop artist with ties to the founding of the museum.  
The advocacy group believes that the museum is being run by the Universal Zulu Nation through Rocky Bucano. Bucano spoke about Universal Zulu Nation at the 50th anniversary celebration event held four months ago at City Hall.  
“I am thankful we have a strong representation from all the pioneers and the practitioners who have made this culture the most important artform, starting with my brother Grandmaster Flash and the formation of the Zulu Nation,” Bucano said at the City Hall anniversary celebration.  
Protesters claim that Bucano still has ties to Zulu Nation, which was founded by Afrika Bambaataa. Both Zulu Nation and Bambaataa are named in a 2021 lawsuit, in which their accuser claims he was sexually abused and sex trafficked as a minor by the defendants several decades ago.  
The museum is scheduled to open next year and has been hailed as the first of its kind and a future destination for tourists and local music lovers.  
The mayor’s office issued the following statement to News 12:
"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." 
Advocates are encouraging those impacted by sex abuse within the hip-hop community to speak out, and protesters say they will keep the pressure on until their demands are met. 


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