News24

Mr Fat was 'larger than life'

2007-11-29 09:43

Cape Town - Ashley Titus, 36, also known as Mr Fat, the rapper of the Afrikaans hip-hop group Brasse Vannie Kaap, died on Wednesday morning.

"It's always hard to lose someone close to you. It's even more difficult when it's someone like Mr Fat," said DJ Ready D, a long-time friend and BVK member.

"He had a worldwide influence and his death is a great loss to the community in general."

Ready D said they started working on Mr Fat's solo album after the release of BVK's fourth album, Ysterbek earlier this year.

"He had a way of touching people and to convey a message and was excited about the project. It's a pity he couldn't complete it."

Sense of humour

Carel Hoffman, organiser of the Oppikoppi music festival, said he would always remember Mr Fat's personality, his sense of humour and his preference for mutton and chicken.

"In Belgium, where mutton is unknown, he stopped every bus driver and asked for it!

"He was a larger than life character. He also played a critical role in bridging the gap between the Cape Flats and the white communities. He had a knack for identifying young talent and often gave new voices in the hip-hop community a break."

Mr Fat was admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital after he got ill, said Tyrone da Silva, a family friend and former manager for BVK.

Cause of death still unknown

Mr Fat spent about two weeks in hospital in October. He got sick after visiting Amsterdam in the Netherlands. After two weeks he got sick again and was re-admitted.

On behalf of the family, Da Silva said the cause of Mr Fat's death was not known yet. By late on Wednesday, the hospital had not released more information.

Mr Fat was born and bred in Bonteheuwel. His hip-hop career on the Cape Flats stretched back to the eighties.

BVK started in 1996 and is well-known for its strong community involvement and focus on life issues on the Cape Flats.

They also reached out to young people in prisons such as Pollsmoor, Brandvlei and in Oudtshoorn.

Ready D and Mr Fat started BVK while other groups were doing mainly English shows. Mr Fat helped move the borders of Afrikaans music with his South African hip-hop.

Funeral

He was a regular presenter of the program Hip-hop on the MK89 music channel and previously presented a programme on Bush Radio, a community radio station.

Haddad Viljoen, marketing and publicity manager for kyk-NET and MK, said MK will broadcast an hour-long programme of Draadloos met BVK, which was recorded in 2000, on Saturday and Sunday.

The funeral will be held from the Methodist Church in Bonteheuwel at 09:00 on Monday.

Mr Fat leaves his mother Pamela and grandmother Grace behind.