“This is about what happened to me, what Bam did to me.”
A phone call between Donald Savage, who publicly accused Afrika Bambaataa of molesting him when he was 15, and Mickey Bentson, a Zulu Nation lieutenant, has been made public. In the call Bentson can be heard telling Savage to recant his accusations.
Thump broke the story earlier this week without any audio. Three days later, a YouTube user named Irritated Genie Speaks uploaded the audio of the conversation between Savage and Bentson. The call starts at 3:49 in the video.
In the conversation, Bentson dismisses Savage’s accusations and goes on to claim he only went public with it to help sales of his 2014 memoir Impulse, Urges and Fantasies: Life is a Bag of Mixed Emotions. The accusation of molestation was first revealed in the book though the molester was never named. Savage named Bambaataa, founder of the Zulu Nation and recognised as one of the godfathers of hip-hop, in March 2016 during an appearance on the Star Chamber YouTube show.
Savage defends himself against Bentson by staing he was a kid when Bambaataa molested him. “This is about what happened to me, what Bam did to me,” Savage tells Benston. “I had to get it out, and I want people to respect that, man. I been living with this shit. I been telling people. People knew over the years…but I protected Bam. I’m a victim. And I still protected him.” He goes on to detail some of what Bambaataa did to him, saying he couldn’t even let other people touch him for a while.
Bentson claims that Savage’s accusation are an attack on the “brand” of the Zulu Nation, which was involved in the scandal due to its close ties to Bambaataa. In May, the Zulu Nation removed him as leader. Savage retorts that this “isn’t about money.” “Everybody want to protect Bam, that’s about money,” he exclaims.
“If you had a son and that shit happened to him, what would you want your son to do?” Savage asks Bentson who replies that as long as the kids weren’t forced he may not like it “but ok.”
The Thump article also refers to another phone call Savage received, from Saladeen Walker, during which he was also pressured to recant.
“To the survivors of apparent sexual molestation by Bambaataa, both those who have come forward and others who have not, we are sorry for what you endured and extend our thanks to those who have spoken out for your bravery in bringing to light that which most of us were sadly unaware of, and others chose not to disclose.”
Despite further victims coming out in public, Bambaataa has repeatedly refuted the allegations.