During a Q&A in Birmingham, England, KRS said the molestation allegations against Bambaataa were “accusations and gossip.” He went on to say that the “Planet Rock” creator invented hip-hop, and therefore should be untouchable.
“When you’re talking about Afrika Bambaataa, first of all, you’re talking about the person who invented hip-hop,” KRS-One said. “Not participated in it. There was no hip-hop before Afrika Bambaataa. Let’s start there. So anyone who has a problem with Afrika Bambaataa should quit hip-hop.”
KRS-One went on to say that the molestation accusations are something for Bambaataa to deal with, not all of hip-hop culture, and insisted that despite his inflammatory comments, he doesn’t take the accusations lightly, though he he did take time to stress that the alleged victims were “accusing” and that there isn’t any evidence, nor has there been a conviction.
“You don’t take accusations lightly,” KRS-One said. “I would say unequivocally right here, right now, I hope for healing. As I wrote in my statement, I hope for healing for everyone involved. First for those who are accusing Afrika Bambaataa. Accusing. No evidence, no convictions. OK, but we will at least give you the benefit of the doubt. You made these accusations against Afrika Bambaataa. OK, no problem. Bam, deal with that.”
Although the interviewer suggested that both the victims and Bambaataa be given equal space to have their voices heard, KRS-One disagreed, saying that “our leadership has to be untouchable” and hip-hop has to understand that “some of us our infallible.”
The interviewer then asked for both sides – the victims and Afrika Bambaataa – to be given an equal platform.
“No one is untouchable,” the interviewer says.
“Yes we are,” KRS insisted, garnering applause from audience members. “We have to learn that. Our leadership has to be untouchable, or they’re not leaders.”
KRS said hip-hop needs to understand “some of us are infallible.” He argued that hip-hop’s leaders must be beyond reproach or the entire culture will die.