Last Updated: July 12, 2023
Richest CelebritiesRappers
Net Worth:
$500 Thousand
Date of Birth:
Apr 17, 1957 (66 years old)
Place of Birth:
The Bronx
Record producer, Disc jockey, Social activist, Rapper, Actor
United States of America
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What is Afrika Bambaataa's Net Worth?

Afrika Bambaataa is a rapper, DJ, and record producer who has a net worth of $500 thousand. Afrika Bambaataa is credited with helping to develop the electro and hip hop genres in the late 1970s and into the 80s. Crucially, he created and led the Universal Zulu Nation, through which he raised international awareness of hip hop culture in the context of peace and inclusivity. In 2016, Afrika Bambaataa stepped down as the head of the Universal Zulu Nation due to multiple allegations of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s.

Early Life

Afrika Bambaataa, whose real name is Lance Taylor, was born on April 17, 1957 in New York City to Zulu and Jamaican immigrant parents. He was raised in the Bronx River Projects by his activist mother and uncle, who exposed him to the black liberation movement. Taylor was also introduced to music through his mother's eclectic record collection. Growing up in gangland, he became a member of the street gang the Black Spades, in which he assumed a prominent position. Under Taylor's leadership, the Spades grew into the biggest gang in the city in terms of both turf area and membership.

Universal Zulu Nation

Taylor experienced a shift in his cultural and political consciousness after he won an essay contest that earned him a trip to Africa. On his trip, he visited communities that inspired him to become a more compassionate member of his own. Adopting the name of the Zulu chief Bhambatha, Taylor changed his name to Afrika Bambaataa. Upon returning to the United States, he formed the Bronx River Organization as an alternative to his street gang the Spades. The group consisted of socially-conscious rappers, graffiti artists, B-boys, and various other individuals involved in hip hop culture. Eventually, in late 1977, the Bronx River Organization evolved into the Universal Zulu Nation, which Bambaataa used to keep kids out of gangs and foster an international awareness of a peaceful and inclusive hip hop culture. Over the subsequent decades, Zulu Nation branches were established around the world in countries such as Japan, France, Australia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Music Career

Bambaataa was one of the integral figures in helping to develop hip hop culture in the late 1970s and into the 80s. In 1982, he and a retinue of other artists traveled outside the United States for the first-ever hip hop tour in Europe. Bambaataa also became a popular DJ in his native South Bronx, where he established the rap crews the Jazzy 5 and Soulsonic Force. The latter group was integral in the birth of the American electro movement, and had its biggest commercial hit with the 1982 single "Planet Rock," which borrowed motifs from German electronic music. Around the same time, Bambaataa released the first-ever commercial single in the US made on a computer, ushering in the era of music computer sampling. Among his other innovations, he established the subgenre of "turntablism" and helped originate the breakbeat style of deejaying.

Afrika Bambaataa net worth

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In 1983, Bambaataa began working with producer Bill Laswell at Celluloid Records, where he developed the groups Time Zone and Shango. The following year, Shango released the album "Shango Funk Theology." Bambaataa also collaborated with legendary soul singer James Brown on the landmark song "Unity." In 1985, he joined a host of other artists to record the anti-apartheid album "Sun City." Bambaataa went on to have success with Harmony and LG, whose first single he produced in 1987. At the end of the decade, he recorded the hit anti-violence single "Self Destruction" with other hip hop artists. In the 1990s, Bambaataa returned to the electro genre and produced a remix of his hit "Planet Rock." He also contributed to Leftfield's single "Afrika Shox." In the new millennium, Bambaataa has released such albums as "Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light" and "Metal."

Child Sexual Abuse Accusations

In 2016, Bambaataa was accused by political activist Ronald Savage of molesting him in 1980 when he was 15. Following that allegation, three more men stepped forward to accuse Bambaataa of child sexual abuse. As a consequence, the Universal Zulu Nation cut ties with Bambaataa, who ultimately stepped down as the head of the organization. Vice magazine went on to publish an investigative article in late 2016 entitled "Afrika Bambaataa Allegedly Molested Young Men for Decades." Later, in a 2021 interview, rapper Melle Mel asserted that everyone in the hip hop community had known about Bambaataa's abuses but were complicit in their silence.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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