Alex Malverde, a key behind-the-scenes figure in Mexico’s current hip-hop renaissance, passed away due to complications with COVID-19, sources reported on Tuesday. The news was confirmed by friends and collaborators on social media.
The entrepreneur, born Alejandro Rodriguez, made a name for himself by managing and promoting emerging hip-hop talent in Mexico throughout the 2010s. He co-founded Homegrown Mafia, a collective that became synonymous with the genre and helped to launch the careers of artists such as Alemán, Yoga Fire, and Gera MX, among many others. He was instrumental in taking the genre to the next level, making moves to hip mainstream audiences to a new wave of rappers. He later started the label Rich Vagos, which built on his efforts to elevate the culture.
Malverde had announced that he had contracted COVID-19 on Jan. 7. He kept posting about the development of the virus on his Twitter account.
Malverde’s drive and determination helped revitalize the country’s hip-hop scene. He was a force in the music industry, forming alliances with mainstream outlets while always keeping it real. Rest in peace to a figure that changed Mexico’s rap game forever.