South African rapper Costa Titch, real name Constantinos Tsobanoglou, has died. He was only 28 years old. In a post on his Instagram account, his family bids farewell to their beloved son, brother and grandson. "It is with deep pain that we must accept his death," the post continued. "We thank the emergency services and everyone present in his last hours." The family did not disclose the exact cause of death.
The rapper performed at the Ultra South Africa Festival over the weekend. Videos of his performance in Johannesburg on Saturday have been circulating on social media, CNN reports, claiming to show the rapper falling on stage and being helped up by someone next to him. After a short moment he is said to have collapsed again.
The organizers of the festival have already expressed their condolences on Twitter. "Costa was a compelling voice on the South African Amapiano scene - a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend of the festival," the statement reads. Amapiano is a subgenre of electronic house music that originated in South Africa in the mid-2010s.
Born in Nelspruit in North East South Africa, Tsobanoglou already had a successful dance career before becoming a rapper. His song "Big Flexa" became a success. Most recently he switched to the record label of the American musician Akon, who can also be heard in a remix of "Big Flexa".
Sharing the message from Tsobanoglou's family on Sunday, the 49-year-old wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of our brother Constantinos Tsobanoglou after last night's sad, unexpected event caused him to collapse on stage ." Costa Titch was more than just an artist. "He was a brilliant superstar and hardworking man with a kind heart that endeared him to everyone around him."
The musician had a vision "that I knew for sure would take over the music industry worldwide and was on my way to doing just that when God's plan stepped in. It was a sad day, but what makes me feel better , is that I know he died doing what he loved most in this world. God bless you Costa!"