“Death has tragically knocked on our door. Depriving us of our beloved son, brother and grandson,” read the statement, unsigned and posted on Costa Titch’s Instagram account. The statement goes on to thank “rescuers and all those present in his final hours on this earth.”
Videos posted on social media appeared to show Costa Titch collapsing while performing. In one, an unidentified man on stage grabs him and helps him up, after which the rapper continues his performance. But a few seconds later, he seems to be falling apart again.
Videos could not be independently verified. Costa Titch was scheduled to perform Saturday night at the Ultra Music Festival in Nasrec, a suburb of Johannesburg. Festival organizers said in a statement on Twitter that they were “devastated” by the artist’s death, calling him a “talented rapper, dancer, songwriter, collaborator and friend of the festival”. They did not provide information on how he died and could not be reached for comment on Sunday..
Online, fans and fellow artists have expressed sadness and dismay at news of the rapper’s death. “RIP Costa Titch. A great talent gone too soon”, tweeted South African and American artist Leslie Jonathan Mampe Jr., who passes through Da LES
The Southern African Music Rights Organisation, a copyright group which represents the country’s artists, has offered its “sincere condolences” to Costa Titch’s family.
It was the second high-profile death on South Africa’s vibrant rap scene in just a few weeks. Kiernan Forbes, 35, who went by the stage name AKA, died last month after being shot outside a restaurant in Durban, on the country’s southeast coast. AKA and Costa Titch released an album together in 2021.