Pictured: Late rapper Riky Rick
Photo by Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The rapper's family confirmed the news of the performer's untimely death online, and fans are shocked.

South African rapper Riky Rick has died, as was confirmed by his family in an online statement, Wednesday morning. "Son, husband, father, brother, uncle, Riky 'Ricky' Makhado (34) sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (23rd February) in Johannesburg," the statement read.

Some of Makhado's last words to the world were captured via his February 22nd tweet, "I'll return a stronger man. This land is still my own."

The "UNGAZINCISHI" artist gained popularity within the South African music scene when his debut studio album Family Values in 2015 was certified platinum—as fans drank up singles "Boss Zonke" and "Come Alive," featuring fellow South African performer Cassper Nyovest. The star went on to also release EPs Scooby Snacks and Stay Shining and hit singles "Amantombazane" and "Sidlukotini."

His creativity knew no bounds, as the rapper was a keen fan of fashion, fine clothing, and culture. Another incredible feat for the star was his music and street cultural event, Cotton Fest. The success of Riky Rick's 2020 Cotton Fest left fans and supporters of the star excited for what was to come.

It was at the 2020 Cotton Fest where the rapper opened up about his struggles with depression after the death of his father. This being after he had already taken time off from performing live to deal with his mental health struggles. Speaking on his podcast series LAB LIVE as a part of Cotton Fest, Rick said, "I lost my father at a time when I needed the help. I lost him at a time when I needed that voice. A lot of people don’t understand that you can never replace the voice of a father. It wasn’t like he just died, it was like 18 years, living with your dad for a year, and then going back to your mom. I love being with my mom but living with him for a year. A child is never meant to live without his parents.”

Makhado is survived by his wife and two children.

Fans of the rapper took to social media to express their heartbreak at the news, as well as to let those who weren't familiar with the performer know how beautiful he was.

My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Riky Rick What a loss. He was always good to me and supported me. He will be remembered through his music and humility. A true game-changer always looking to uplift the youth. #RIPRikyRick pic.twitter.com/cz5sFisT6F