Matthew Africa - Bay Area DJ extraordinaire, long time friend of this and the other site and the world’s only buttoned down lawyer known to bang C-Bo tapes in a VW Bug - passed away earlier this week.
After any unexpected loss the talk is always of how it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person but I don’t think that’s ever been a true statement until this instance. Matthew was the nicest in every sense of the word. As a DJ and selector he was nice with his, possessing better taste and greater knowledge than just about anybody I’ve encountered in this field. As a human he was just flat out kind, genuinely caring about any and everyone fortunate enough to fall into the broad community of music lovers that surrounded him. And yet the thing that I admired most about Matthew was how he never let that niceness hinder discourse. In fact dude was a supreme hater with the rest of us, faking no smiles and biting no tongue. But his critiques were always so restrained and constructive as to make it abundantly clear that he had nothing but the best interests of both his subjects and audience in mind.
When I think about being a better critic I think about being more like Matthew. When I think about being a better person I do the same. R.I.P.