Afrika Bambaataa‘s alleged role as a co-founder of the Universal Hip Hop Museum has sparked an advocacy group to demand for the museum’s defunding.

On Tuesday (March 28), Hip Hop Stands With Survivors published a letter calling for New York City mayor Eric Adams to end all taxpayer funding for the UHMM, as well as for the organization to let go of its Executive Director Rocky Bucano and for Microsoft and other companies to end their financial relationships with it.

The protest stems from the numerous allegations of sexual assault levied against Afrika Bambaataa, all of which he has denied.

“We expect his resignation or for the board to vote him out of the museum’s leadership and for the museum to sever all ties with Bucano, Bambaataa, and the Zulu Nation,” the letter reads (via AllHipHop).

The protest has since been taken to the streets of New York, and has garnered a response from Adams.

“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,” Adams said in a statement obtained by News 12.

UHMM’s Rocky Bucano also released a statement, denying being a member of the Universal Zulu Nation as well as claims that Afrika Bambaataa was ever a board member of the museum.

“The Universal Hip Hop Museum and Mr. Bucano condemn all acts of acts of violence and abuse. I would like to make it clear that Afrika Bambaataa has not had a role at the Universal Hip Hop Museum since 2016,” Bucano began. “I and the Universal Hip Hop Museum are not party to any activities affiliated with the Universal Zulu Nation I affirm that the Universal Hip Hop Museum is committed to its mission to empower, educate, and uplift communities.”

He continued: “While it is true that Afrika Bambaataa was a founding member of the museum, he was removed from any involvement with the museum as soon as the allegations surfaced. He has never been a board member, advisory board member or volunteer.

“I have never been a member of the Universal Zulu Nation nor am I an agent of the organization or Afrika Bambaataa. The assertion that UHHM is a financial front for the Universal Zulu Nation, Afrika Bambaataa, or other Universal Zulu Nation members, is irresponsible, false, and misdirected.”

In 2016, Bambaataa resigned from his position with the Universal Zulu Nation amid allegations of child sexual abuse stretching back to the 1970s and has since retreated from the public eye. However, he has maintained his innocence over the last five years.

His attorney, Vivian K. Tozaki, issued a statement at the time that stated, “Recently, defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him.

“The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity, and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity. Valuable cultural resources, such as Afrika Bambaataa’s good name and time, should never be used to assist a mediocre person’s asinine quest for social media popularity and superficial gain.”

HipHopDX has reached out to the Universal Hip Hop Museum for comment.

Eric Adams Calls Himself NYC’s First ‘Hip Hop Mayor’ Amid $5.5M Hip Hop Museum Boost

Eric Adams Calls Himself NYC’s First ‘Hip Hop Mayor’ Amid $5.5M Hip Hop Museum Boost

The Universal Hip Hop Museum broke ground in May of 2021 in Hip Hop’s birth place, the Bronx. The 50,000 square-feet UHHM is part of a $349million project alongside the Harlem River waterfront. Bronx Point’s first phase promises to deliver 542 units of permanently affordable housing to the Lower Concourse neighborhood with approximately 2.8 acres of public open space.

It will also provide an array of cultural and community-focused programming, including the UHHM, an early childhood space run by BronxWorks and outdoor science programming run by the Billion Oyster Project.

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In 2019, the State of New York donated a $3.5million grant to the museum. It’s scheduled to open some time in 2023 or 2024 in celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary.