Hip Hop legend KRS-One has some super interesting–and extremely problematic–things to say about the sex abuse allegations against Afrika Bambaataa. According to the Bronx rapper, he doesn’t care about Bambaataa’s alleged past indiscretions because he deals with “dudes that are questionable all the time.”
“First of all, controversy is not truth,” KRS-One said during a recent interview on the Drink Champs podcast. “What you want is truth right now. But truth is also not information. It’s not gossip. It’s not even conversation.”
KRS-One continued: “For me if you keep it hip-hop, nothing can be taken away from Afrika Bambaataa. Nothing. Just keep it hip-hop. But if you want to dig into dude’s personal life and accusations that’s being made and so on, 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.”
KRS-One is known for being outspoken on issues of racism and police brutality, but apparently, he’s willing to turn a blind eye to those who sexually abuse folks so long as their legacy remains intact.
“Even if you knew the facts… A person like me, I deal with dudes that are questionable all the time. Not just if the accusation is rape. I know dudes that are doing… You know what I’m saying? If you know anybody from prison, if you know anybody from the shelter, if you know anybody – If you live really in the hood, you know shooters. You know dudes running from the cops. You know your man might have an open warrant on him right now! I’m not judging these motherfuckers, man! That’s my n—a right here, yo. That’s it. Now what you do and your crime, and your shit and your bullshit, whatever you’re doing, that’s on you. That’s you, my G. That’s how I always dealt with it. I can’t pick and choose.”
Since former music executive Ronald Savage accused Bambaataa of molesting him in the 1980s, three more men have come forward to claim the hip hop pioneer abused them as well. Still, KRS-One argues folk should just focus on Bambaataa’s place within hip hop culture, which is exactly the sort of thinking that gives abusers cover to continue racking up victims.
Whether Bambaataa is guilty of molesting the young boys who looked up to him back in the day remains to be seen, but loudly proclaiming you don’t care whether or not someone is a sex abuser is just straight up foul as well.