In Spring 2016, hip-hop culture pioneer, Afrika Bambaataa, was publicly accused by two men of having sexually molested them when they were minors. This cast a new light on the true nature one of the founding fathers of hip-hop culture, and the organisation he fronted, the Universal Zulu Nation. Despite the seriousness of the allegations – now backed up by many others from Bambaataa’s past – both mainstream and specialist media have largely ignored the story.
Chicago-based journalist and researcher Leila Wills guests on this episode to discuss her new documentary, ‘Trapped In A Culture: Child Molestation In Hip-Hop,’ which examines the claims against Bambaataa in detail, including interviews with his accusers and former Zulu Nation members. We discuss the ambiguity surrounding Bambaataa’s early days in The Bronx, and many aspects of his life story which appear to have been falsified. We also scrutinise the true nature of the Universal Zulu Nation, which many former members have described as being run more as a quasi-religious cult than as a social movement. 
Bambaataa appears to have incorporated aspects of various secret societies and occult mystery schools into his symbolism and doctrines. In particular, we examine the disturbing parallels to Dr. Malachi Z York’s Nuwaubian movement/ cult. York, who appears to have been a mentor to Bambaataa, is serving a 135-year jail sentence on child sexual abuse charges. KRS One, who had initially spoken up in defence of Bambaataa, comes in for his own scrutiny too, as many previously-accepted myths and legends about some of hip-hop’s key figures come to be reassessed. Is there more to know about how this whole scene really got started?
Leila expects to release her documentary shortly, but is still in need of funding to finalise things, having self-financed the whole project so far. She is welcoming any donations to help get the film out. These can be made via Paypal to, or via Search for ‘Trapped In A Culture’ there.

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