RIP Matthew Africa
It is with great sadness that we learned of the untimely passing of Matthew Africa. A staple of the Bay Area's underground hip-hop scene, Africa was killed in an automobile accident last Sunday while driving with his wife in Northern California. (Thankfully, she survived the crash, albeit with some serious injuries.) The Oakland-based DJ, record collector, mixtape auteur, and music enthusiast was one of those figures who may never have become a household name, but was respected and liked by everyone who knew him, a list of people which included a serious roll call of DJs, producers, MCs, and music heads. (On a personal note, I worked with Matthew for years at KALX Radio and considered him a friend.) He was primarily known for his love of hip-hop, not to mention his legendary mixtapes, but Africa contained an encyclopedia-level knowledge of so many kinds of music—funk, soul, psych, jazz, even random indie stuff. More than that, he was also a good-hearted person and an incredibly nice guy. Matthew appeared on (and in) XLR8R a few times over the years, most notably when he teamed up with DJ Eleven to film a "How to Make a Mixtape" episode of XLR8R TV, which we've posted below. No memorial services have been announced yet, but Matthew Africa will be truly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.