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.
The fact that I will never hear you say \u201cYo Laz Forget about the noise, focus on the goal.\u201d again \nYoh ha.a! \n\nRest King! The internal war with yourself is over. You will FOREVER be LOVED and REMEMBERED. \n\nRest in Peace Ricky Rick (Riky Makhosi )pic.twitter.com/vJ3U8YWXia— Lasizwe\u2019s Year (@Lasizwe\u2019s Year) 1645623584
I'm actually in tears over the news about Ricky Rick. So many of us are fighting silent battles and you end up feeling like no one understands or wants to listen to you so you just decide to end your life. I pray for strength for all of those dealing with mental health issues— Gabbie_K \ud83c\udf6f (@Gabbie_K \ud83c\udf6f) 1645605123
Ricky Rick talking about his struggle with depression and how he never spoke much about it because he didn\u2019t want people to treat him differently just because he had depression. pic.twitter.com/hVzU5qPp08— Zinhle \ud83e\udd77\ud83c\udffd (@Zinhle \ud83e\udd77\ud83c\udffd) 1645610229
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
My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Riky Rick \n\nWhat 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— Pitso Mosimane (@Pitso Mosimane) 1645616311
I spent 6 months on set with him in 2017 watching him go through this. His struggle and the pressure to continue to be Riky Rick through depression, weighed heavy. I wrote briefly about it at the time. And it later inspired #thegramsham podcast series.pic.twitter.com/b6WUh85k1C— Jo Lurie (@Jo Lurie) 1645617765