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Costa Titch: The rapper who ‘symbolised South Africa’s rainbow nation aspirations’

Costa Titch, a South African rapper, died after apparently collapsing while performing at a festival.

Costa Titch was Constantinos Tsobanoglou’s stage name. He was 28 years old when he died.

Sky News examines the life and music of this artist in South Africa.

Finding success


Costa Titch began his career as a backup dancer. However, he was well-known for his choreographed music videos and success as a rapper.

He rose to fame as a rapper with Nkalakatha, Riky Rick, and AKA.

He won the South African Hip Hop Awards 2020 Best Collaboration and Best Mix for the track.

Big Flexa was his breakout success, featuring Akon and Alfa Kat as well as Ma Gang.

This video has been viewed 46 million times on YouTube. It is the most watched amapiano video ever.

Amapiano, a South African subgenre of house music that fuses African melodies with reggae and hip hop, is called Amapiano.

In February 2018, he posted on Instagram that he was partnering with Akon’s record label Konvict Kulture.

He also won the Soundcity MVP Viewers Choice Award that month.

Mixing languages, cultures, and genres

Titch’s debut album Made in Africa was released in 2020. The album features 17 tracks, with Titch rapping in English, Sesotho and Afrikaans.

Sanya Osha, journalist for The Conversation, wrote about Titch’s ability blend cultures and genres in a profile.

Costa Titch wrote that he was a white man who embraced African hip-hop culture and was a symbol for South Africa’s aspirations to be a rainbow nation.

“Here was a white rapper fluent in African languages. He dressed up like an urban hood dweller and danced like the Son of a Pantsula (a street dance performed by a township resident that is characterised with incredible physical flexibility). Most of his videos were shot using ghetto scenes.

On-stage collapsing

Titch was performing at Johannesburg’s Ultra Music Festival on Saturday, when he apparently collapsed.

Later, he died in hospital. His family confirmed his death via Instagram.

The cause of death is still unknown.

The festival’s organizers released a statement via social media saying that Costa was “a powerful voice among South Africa’s Amapiano scene – a talented rapper and dancer, singer/songwriter, collaborator, friend to the festival”.


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