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Costa Titch: Controversial SA white boy rapping in Zulu

By Tatenda Marwodzi

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Costa Titch, the South African whiteboy has music lovers torn over his choice of language for his music. A fair share of black South Africans think he is “culturally appropriating” by rapping in vernacular.

Costa is a young hip hop artist who rose to fame for rapping in local Zulu and SiSwati languages. According to the young man, he grew up with a passion to learn vernacular and although he could not learn it in high school, he learnt it through music.

“I’m learning Zulu more through music. I understand more than I can speak. In high school, I wanted to take up SiSwati as a second language but they wouldn’t let me because I didn’t have anyone at home to teach me,” he said during an interview with Slikour.

Currently, he has released hit tracks such as Nkalakatha and Thembi which feature AKA, Ricky Rick and Boity. In both tracks, his sings only in Zulu. While the majority of black hip hop fans have been impressed by his humility to sing in vernacular, some think he is only doing it for the money.

“Costa Titch 100% cultural appropriating. His whole swag is blacksthetics. Vernac, music videos in townships, taxis etc,” commented one hip hop fan. “He’s genuinely talented but I feel like a huge part of his branding is preying on the fact that black people get dumb impressed when whites do vernac,” he added.

Despite this backlash, Costa has received positive feedback from top hip hop artists. These are some of their remarks:

“I love this strategy man and you also have humility which kind of is gonna work for you”-@Slikour

“I am not a fan of Costa Titch but trust me ain’t nobody going to tell us he stealing culture,”-@Stogie T

“Let Costa prosper. This is really such a good person who works so hard and bothers no one. Quit pinning him against folks he’s cool with to create rap beef, he’s definitely a welcome part of the culture. We love Costa”- @Cassper Nyovest


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