Rapper Drakeo The Ruler Murdered In Stabbing Backstage At Los Angeles Music Festival
South Los Angeles rapper Drakeo the Ruler, whose real name is Darrell Caldwell, was killed Saturday night during an altercation backstage at an L.A. music festival. He was 28.
His death was confirmed by publicist Scott Jawson, who also wrote that he was “in shock and unable to share any further details at this time.” Jawson also said that he’ll be releasing a statement from Drakeo’s family as soon as they are able.
According to the police report, a fight broke out backstage around 8:30 pm at the Once Upon A Time In L.A. festival, where Drakeo was slated to perform along with rappers like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent.
The report wrote that Drakeo was “severely injured by a suspect wielding an edged weapon,” during the altercation. After first-responders arrived, the report states: “The victim was transported to a local area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Shanelle Gonzalez of the California Highway Patrol said that investigators are reviewing tapes and interviewing witnesses of the fight, but that no arrests have been made so far.
Snoop Dogg, who was one of the organizers of the festival, addressed the tragedy in a post to Twitter. Snoop extended condolences to Drakeo’s family, and said he was there to spread “positive vibes only to my city of LA.”
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) December 19, 2021
Drakeo was discovered by producer DJ Mustard, who rocketed him to stardom in 2014 by remixing Drakeo’s song “Mr. Get Dough.” Since then, Drakeo recorded 10 mixtapes and one studio album and garnered acclaim for his mixtape Thank You For Using GTL, which he recorded while incarcerated at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.
He was known as a unique lyricist and was lauded for his “oddly-expressive, poetic word-choices” by Stereogum.
Drakeo dealt with legal issues hampering his career but was always outspoken about his belief that racial bias was prevalent in his legal issues. When he was put on trial for a 2017 shooting, prosecutors attempted to use his lyrics and music videos against him.
Drakeo told journalist Jeff Weiss that his trial was “a prime example of what happens to 90 percent of black people in the system. I was acquitted of damn near every single charge, and I still had to plead to a gang enhancement to go home.”
Draeko is survived by his father, mother and girlfriend Noel Bianca.
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