South African rapper Costa Titch dies after video of him collapsing on stage

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) South African rapper Costa Titch died suddenly over the weekend, his family said on Instagram, hours after performing at a music festival.

The musician, real name Constantinos Tsobanoglou, was 28 years old.

Footage circulating on social media appeared to show Tsobanoglou falling on stage before being lifted by someone next to him. Tsobanoglou then gets up for several seconds before seemingly collapsing.

“It is with deep sorrow that we must recognize his passing at this time,” Tsobanoglou’s family said in a post on their Instagram. “We are grateful for these emergency responders and all those present in his final hours.”

The statement did not mention the cause of death.

The festival where he performed, Ultra South Africa, said it was “devastated” by the death of the young rapper.

“Costa was a galvanizing voice within the South African amapiano scene – a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend of the festival,” the statement read.

Tsobanoglou was a growing sensation in South Africa and one of the biggest stars of amapiano, a style of music characterized by deep house, drum-driven bass lines and soulful piano melodies. His style of rapping combines South Africa’s indigenous culture, style and languages ​​with international rap subgenres like trap music, which originated in Atlanta’s burgeoning hip hop scene.

Tsobanoglou was born in Nelspruit in northeastern South Africa and had previously had a successful career in dance before becoming a rapper.

Tsobanoglou’s song “Big Flexa” made him a star across Africa after his success on TikTok. The rapper had recently teamed up with a music label launched by Senegalese-American musician Akon, who was featured on a remix of “Big Flexa.”

Tsobanoglou’s death comes a month after his friend and collaborator, rapper AKA, was killed in a shooting.

CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report

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