The hip-hop community mourns the loss of a Bay legend.
Bay Area great DJ Stef, aka Stephanie Ornelas, died yesterday (October 1), according to the East Bay Times. No further details about her death are available at this time.
A beloved San Francisco DJ and veteran of the Bay Area hip-hop scene, Ornelas was also a writer, graphic designer and founder of Vinyl Exchange, a newsletter about record collecting culture she started in the 1990s.
Her sudden passing has inspired countless tributes from artists in hip-hop including El-P, Prince Paul, Anticon, Chico Sondido and many more.
Love for DJ STEF 💔😢 pic.twitter.com/kcOXZ5LzET
— Equipto (@EQUIPTO) October 2, 2017
“Wherever hip-hop was, she was,” said Bay Area rapper Equipto in a statement shared on Twitter where he recounts her coming up to him, enthusiastically reciting a lyric of his and saying how much she liked it.
“I felt like I made it when she said that to me,” he said. “She might be the only DJ ever to come up to me after a show and recite a lyric to me like that.”
Read more tributes to Ornelas below.
My deepest condolences to the family of @djstef415 . news you never want to hear
— DJ Prince Paul (@DJPrincePaul) October 2, 2017
In a DJ scene awash with bros, @djstef415 showed me that it was possible for a woman to do her thing and be recognized for her craft
— Nastia Voynovskaya (@nananastia) October 2, 2017
— anticon records (@anticon) October 2, 2017
heartbroken to hear about dj stef passing. truly a lovely, kind soul.
— el-p (@therealelp) October 2, 2017
so sad to find out about the passing of @djstef415 RIP she gave me my first shot as a professional dj in the bay area as a Latin Bass DJ
— 🎻Zero Drama Squad (@CHICOSONIDO) October 2, 2017