Some of us didn’t take Costa Titch seriously when he first landed. He spotted what seemed like a gimmick that wouldn’t float far from the shore before being washed back to where he came. Gimmick or not, he was dead serious and has now put out an album on his own label.
In the weeks leading to this release, Costa Titch has been hailed as the saviour of the SA Hip Hop sound. It was difficult to judge for sure if the sound he broke out with will be carried out to a full body of work. But it caught on. And it did. It comes to us in the form of a 17-track album titled Made In Africa.
Costa Titch is aware of the talks around his act being a gimmick. He addresses it with class without really getting into it. He is just set on proving himself and having fun while doing it. He opens up with a clip of him being discussed on whether he’s authentic or not. Whether he caught a lucky break with his first single out, Nkalakatha.
To give context to those who may not be aware, Costa Titch is a Caucasian rapper that works in a lot of vernacular (isiZulu and S’pitori) into his lyrics. He also has a lot of influence from SA classics in the Kwaito and House genres through sampled beats and references in his lines and hooks.
Made In Africa is heavy on features. It features many prominent names in SA Hip Hop, which could be seen as a cosign from all sorts of direction in the game. The long list of features is something you would usually see on compilation albums. The list includes the likes of (*Gasp*) AKA, Boity, Boskasie, DJ Maphorisa, Frank Casino, Loki , Phantom Steeze , Ricky Rick, Rouge, Sjava, Tshego and Youngsta CPT. Actually, that’s the full list in alphabetic order.
Normally, having this many features on the first project doesn’t bode well for an artist. Your debut is supposed to be your introduction to the world. But in this case maybe what you get is not far off from Costa Titch is. He is a feature artists. He didn't leave any features for the future. And this many features must've cost a lot. It's an investment that may prove to pay off, given that he got good music and good energy from the features.
Costa is a performer. He makes music that’s catchy with the intention for the masses to vibe to. All while going through a range of topics, some which are personal. A lot of the songs will sound the same to an old ear. The content is very playful.
Costa Titch enjoys showing off his flexible linguistics, which is really where his strong points lie. When it comes to rap skill, he ranks average and does well in the trap domain. He has catchy hooks and takes a swing at working in more within his verses.
Sonically, this is a standard trap production. The working in of local samples adds an intriguing element to it all. No production credits. The job was done right there. You catch yourself moving to the beats. It’s a trap sound with samples of some SA
Stand out tracks: Durban Poison, which is one of the few solo pieces, Blessings ft AKA and Phantom Steeze; who lays a great verse, Always which is a soothing duet featuring Boskasie, Got It ft Tshego and Rouge and Kuyabanda, which features SKHANDAWORLD’s Loki. Give Costa a dope beat and he will respond in kind with his song-making ability. It should be noted that his content will connect more with a younger audience, looking for light content.
The many features were properly placed and it turned out to be an advantage that resulted in good, vibey music. His sound goes a long way in brining weight to what many were hailing his album to do in anticipation. Made In Africa infuses sounds unique to SA onto trap beats while the raps are playful. Costa picked an appropriate name for this album and gave it the sound to match. As for “saving” SA Hip Hop, it will take more than just one project from one rapper. That’s if the game even need any saving to begin with.