South African rapper Riky Rick passed away on Wednesday morning (Feb. 23), his family confirmed. He was 34 years old.
“The family of South African artist Riky Rick with profound sadness this afternoon confirmed his untimely passing,” his family wrote in a statement. “Son, husband, father, brother and uncle, Riky ‘Ricky’ Makhado (34) sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning (23rd February) in Johannesburg.”
“Affectionately known as Riky Rick across the globe, he was deeply loved by his family, friends and the entire entertainment industry,” it continued. “His love for family, friends and community is well known. Riky’s nurturing and developing of young musical talent is well documented and will forever be remembered. He leaves behind his wife, two children, his mother and five siblings.”
On Twitter, fans reacted to the tragic news.
“This is so painful. Rest easy my brother,” South African DJ Nkanyezi Kubheka wrote. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for the culture. We love you. Rikhado Riky Rick Makhado.”
“Another sad day for the South African entertainment industry,” another tweet read. “May your giving, loving and bubbly soul rest in peace, Riky Rick. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Makhado family during this heartbreaking time. Rest Legend.”
Others pointed to the rapper’s last cryptic tweet, which he posted in the early morning hours on Wednesday.
“I’ll return a stronger man. This land is still my home,” the tweet read.
According to News 24, Rick co-founded the Johannesburg hip hop festival Cotton Fest in 2019, which is set to return next month. His debut studio album, Family Values, was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa.
He reportedly suffered from “chronic depression,” saying in a 2020 interview that he was headed down a “destructive path” after the death of his father.
“I was the type of person with a lot of symptoms of personal trouble,” he also told Slikour in 2015.
We at REVOLT send our deepest condolences to Rick’s family, friends and fans at this time. See his and others’ tweets below. Rest in Peace.