Trapped in a Culture, Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation, Part 42 of 44, TC Izlam, Final Interview

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In my last sit down with Grandmaster TC Izlam, he makes an emotional appeal to Afrika Bambaataa. And, if the motto of the Zulu Nation was Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun, why were the boys and teens around Afrika Bambaataa so angry?

Bronx–Lance Taylor took on the name Afrika Bambaataa and started a hip-hop awareness group. But former members say the Universal Zulu Nation was a violent gang that disintegrated into a cult with Bambaataa as the god-head. In 2016, several men came forward with disturbing tales of what they say took place from the 1970s into the 1990s. Although Peace, Unity, Love, and Having Fun was the motto of the Zulu Nation, Bambaataa fashioned the organization’s doctrine after Malachi York’s Nuwabian Nation, the Nation of Islam, the Moorish Science Temple, and the 5% Nation.

“Today, the Zulu Nation counts hip-hop royalty like Nas, Lil Wayne, and Big Boi as affiliates, in addition to younger rappers like Joey Bada$ and Freddie Gibbs. Acclaimed TV series The Get Down—not to mention countless documentaries and a recent showcase at Cornell University—credit Bambaataa with uniting a divided neighborhood, offering a way out of gang life, and helping to launch a movement that would place African American art forms at the center of global popular culture.” wrote Dave Wedge, Vice Magazine.

Since the story broke, hip hop has yet to come to terms with the importance of this subject.

In this series, original interview footage is being shown to the public for the first time, encouraging a broader conversation and deep dive into what may have taken place.

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