Talk:Afrika Bambaataa

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Real name?[edit]

So, what's Afrika's birth name? Google gives no clarity:

  • Lance Turner [1] Arthur's Landing member Mustafa Khaliq Ahmed speaks about a client of his when he was a counsellor by the name of Lance Turner, later to become Afrika Bambaataa. Also prior to his trip to Africa (short story). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Afrika Bambaataa Aasim [2]
  • Lance Aasim [3]
  • Kevin Donaldson [4]
  • Kevin Donovan [5] [6]

(none of the above sources being even remotely authoratitive). Is there any better way to find out? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:47, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Public records list AASIM, BAMBAATAA K and AASIM, KEVIN born Apr 17, 1957 living in Bronx and Yonkers, NY. Questors 20:00, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

In Jeff Chang's book Can't Stop Won't Stop,

  • "Many biographies have incorrectly listed his birth name as Kevin Donovan, another man who happened to be the leader of record-label owner Paul Winley's house band, the Harlem Underground Band." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Well the Article should mention that his birth name is currently unknown or whatever. Just don't gloss over the issue. Jidanni (talk) 02:41, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

This dispute was never resolved, it looks like, since the name Kevin Donovan is still listed in the article and doesn't have a citation. I am reading Jeff Chang's book as well, and the name listed in the article is the name of a guy in Harlem Underground. If someone verified that Bambaataa was Donovan, could you add the citation? Another point is that his birthdate is in dispute as well, according to Chang. There's a quote made by Bambaataa, "We never speak on my age." Can we change the name and date information, just leaving it out? Or should we go into how Bambaataa "appears as a man outside of time and age," as Chang puts it? user:hlb003 —Preceding undated comment added 22:27, 3 July 2009 (UTC).

Empire State of Mind[edit]

He is namechecked in the second verse of Jay-Z/Alicia Keys smash hit of 2009, Empire State of Mind. "Welcome to the melting pot, corners where they selling rock, Africa Bimbata shit, home of the hip-hop..."

At first I thought it was a type of drug, but now I see it's someone's name!

Performance Rights Organisation records[edit]

I have looked up Bambaataa's song-writing credits at the websites of the ASCAP and BMI, which can often be relied upon to reveal real names. He is usually listed as BAMBAATAA AFRIKA but there are instances of him being listed as AASIM BEY BAMBAATAA KHAYAN. For example, his sample credit for Ice Cube's track "You Can Do It". He is listed as AASIM BAMBAATAA KHAYAN for his 1983 track "Wildstyle", which matches Questors' source given above. He is never listed as AASIM LANCE, DONOVAN KEVIN or DONALDSON KEVIN. — Labalius (talk) 00:02, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Good legwork on that, but I'm not sure it tells us much. Bam clearly went by Afrika Bambaataa (or similar variants) by the mid-1970s (if not earlier), and I don't know that he was involved in any recordings prior to his own singles in 1981. Unlike some other hip-hop artists (who do use their real names for ASCAP purposes), I'm guessing Bambaataa would not have put his birth name on song-writing credits. He seems to be very much interested in being known as "Afrika Bambaataa" and has had that inclination since well before he became a household name (no pun intended), so we might not find conclusive info any time soon. Though given your wiki-interests per your user page, I think you would be the editor to do it! --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:49, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Link suggestions[edit]

An automated Wikipedia link suggester has some possible wiki link suggestions for the Afrika_Bambaataa article, and they have been placed on this page for your convenience.
Tip: Some people find it helpful if these suggestions are shown on this talk page, rather than on another page. To do this, just add {{User:LinkBot/suggestions/Afrika_Bambaataa}} to this page. — LinkBot 10:32, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Eh...what exactly does the link 'Nuwaubianism' have to do with Bambaataa? Please explain... - Codelyric 14 Nov 2006

What about his collaborations with other artists (eg. Leftfield)? 06:51, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


I suggest that the attribution of Afrika Bambaataa's name is mangled - the name does not appear in the film Zulu. It is more likely to be inspired by Bambatha (pronounced bam-BAHT-hah), leader of the Zondi clan of the Zulu people, who led the 1906 revolt against British rule known as the Bambatha Rebellion. Bambatha does not mean "affectionate leader" in Zulu - it means "pat": describes anything from a friendly slap on the back to stroking a dog or cat. Humansdorpie 10:41, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Discography Additions[edit]

The discography currently lacks the music that was released on Paul Winley Records, such as the Death Mix.

First rapper?[edit]

Not even he claims to be the first rapper; anyone mind if I correct this? (Pete Scholtes)

He definatly is among the first, but its kind of stupid to say he's the 'original' rapper. 17:02, 25 February 2007 (UTC)


Bambaataa is credited for preventing huge gang wars and an outbreak of crime while outsiders and politicians credited Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City at the time.[citation needed]

Giuliani's tough-on-crime policies WERE instrumental in reducing crime in NYC. It's perfectly possible that both men played positive roles in preventing crime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Planet Rock.ogg[edit]

The image Image:Planet Rock.ogg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --09:55, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

West Indian[edit]

"West Indian" seems unacceptable. Why don't we call him Caribbean? Even the Wikipedia page for "West Indian" links to Caribbean. I posit that this term is historically insensitive to both West "Indians" and actual Indians and that it is unclear and imprecise language. This is insensitive because it propagates an historical inaccuracy founded on a principle as simple as all Indians looking the same. The latter I feel is true because West Indian refers to indigenous people throughout the Americas, which vary greatly between each other, and because a more precise term ("Caribbean") exists. edit: I don't know what I'm doing posting in discussion. My apologies on formatting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:29, 26 July 2008

Name and birth date[edit]

From what I've seen (the book by Jeff Chang being one of the best sources) we have no definitive information about either Bam's real name or his birth date, yet both are listed in the article. Chang claims categorically that his name is not Kevin Donovan and he is definitely a reliable source for our purposes. Particularly since this is a BLP, I don't think we can list his name without definitive information and as far as I know that does not exist. Barring objections, I think we should remove the listed name and birth date and explain that the is no definite information on this in the first section of the body. Any thoughts?--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 19:36, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

No thoughts, I'm not sure that info is out there. Hager says he graduated from high school in '75. (talk) 06:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
As a graduation date that obviously makes sense, but as you suggest the problem is a general lack of info when it comes to Bambaataa. I already removed specific references to his birth date and birth name in the article, and I think we ought to keep it that way—barring other sourced information about Bam's origins.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 12:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The presently listed birthdate of *1957* would make him 14 or younger when *in 1971, he formed the "Bronx River Organization" as an alternative to the Black Spades* listed in the history section...Pklala (talk) 15:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the birth date and name from the intro and info box again (I had not noticed they were re-added). I don't have the Chang book at home right now, but I'll try to verify the claim that Bam formed the Bronx River Org in 1971. That seems unlikely to me, though I could be wrong, considering that the Hoe Avenue peace meeting took place at the end of that year, and my understanding was that it was awhile after that that Bam formed BRO out of elements of the Black Spades. At the Hoe Avenue meeting he was a leader in the Spades but, I think, not to the point of splitting off into his own group. Regardless of whether I'm right or wrong about that, we need definitive sourcing for his name and/or birth date before we can put anything in for that. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 23:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Later career details in the Intro[edit]

This intro ends with details about the subject from 2007 and 2012. One of the problems with adding later career details to openings is that the opening becomes "closed" in a time span sense. Think "A B C ..." then "A...Z" (its like applying a time span range with a definite start and end). Articles need openings that highlight "why" readers should carry on reading the article. Later career details are counter-productive to this (IMO).

If no one minds in a few days I'll place the details where they should go chronologically in the article. If you disagree then revert.

Sluffs (talk) 17:00, 10 August 2013 (UTC)