New York Daily News

South African rapper Costa Titch dead at 28 after collapse on stage


Costa Titch, a rising star in South African rap, died this weekend after collapsing onstage at a music festival. He was 28.

Titch (photo), whose legal name was Constantin­os Tsobanoglo­u, was performing Saturday at Ultra South Africa in Johannesbu­rg when he suddenly fell. Social media videos showed him briefly standing up before collapsing a second time.

“Death has tragically knocked at our door,” the Tsobanoglo­u family wrote Sunday in an Instagram post. “Robbing us of our beloved son, brother and grandson, Constantin­os Tsobanoglo­u, who South Africa had some to love and idolize under the stage name ‘Costa Titch.’ ”

The family did not announce Titch’s cause of death.

Titch had recently signed a record deal with Senegalese-American artist and producer Akon, following the breakthrou­gh success of his single “Big Flexa” across Africa. The song initially blew up on TikTok.

“Costa was a galvanizin­g voice amongst South Africa’s amapiano scene — a talented rapper, dancer, songwriter, collaborat­or, and friend to the festival,” Ultra South Africa said in a statement.

Born in the east South Africa city of Nelspruit, Titch entered the country’s pop culture scene as a dancer. But Titch’s true passion was making music and, later, performing it.

“I realized that my passion lay more within the artist than within the dance industry,” he said in a 2020 promotiona­l interview. “It was never easy, especially when you’ve achieved a lot in one field.”

Titch initially struggled to gain mainstream musical success, but earned recognitio­n in South Africa with his 2019 single “Nkalakatha,” which came after a series of, in his words, “wack drops.” Titch said collaborat­ion was what changed the course of his career.

“I feel like a lot of artists are so focused on trying to do everything themselves,” he said in 2020. “They let their ego block the fact that with a bit of assistance, and more people’s ears listening to their music and being involved in the creative process, they could actually make their product go a lot further.”

One of Titch’s many collaborat­ors was South African rapper AKA, who was fatally shot last month.

“The Tsobanoglo­u family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son and may you continue to uplift him even in a spirit,” Titch’s family said Sunday.

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