Rapper Drakeo the Ruler fatally stabbed at Los Angeles music festival


This photo, courtesy of Scott Jawson, on December 19, 2021 shows American rapper and songwriter Darrell Caldwell, known professionally as Drakeo the Ruler, in Los Angeles in March 2021. American rapper Drakeo the Ruler died on December 19, 2021 after being fatally stabbed backstage at a Los Angeles music festival where he was scheduled to perform the day before.
Image Credit: Photo by Wyatt WINFREY / SCOTT JAWSON / AFP

A West Coast rapper known as Drakeo the Ruler was fatally stabbed in an altercation at a scheduled Los Angeles music festival, leaving fans of the young musician heartbroken.

A publicist for the rapper, Scott Jawson, confirmed his death to the New York Times and The Rolling Stone on Sunday. The artist’s real name was Darrell Caldwell.

Caldwell, 28, was assaulted on Saturday night during the Once Upon a Time in LA concert, which was set to feature several performers, including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Ice Cube. Organizers canceled the festival after the stabbing.


Snoop dogg
Image Credit: AP

A scuffle broke out behind the main stage shortly after 8:30 p.m., leaving a man seriously injured by a stabbing suspect, the California Highway Patrol said in a stripped-down press release that did not name Caldwell. The victim was taken to hospital, where he later died.

The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department also responded.

LAPD spokesman Luis Garcia told the Los Angeles Times that no arrests were made on Sunday.

Journalists and music fans alike have been delighted with Caldwell’s unique sound and limitless creativity. His death highlighted the violent disappearance of other talented young black musicians, including LA rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019 and the very influential Tupac Shakur in 1996. Both men were shot dead.

Snoop Dogg posted his condolences to Caldwell’s family and his prayers to those affected by the tragedy on social media. “I pray for peace in hip hop,” he said.

Caldwell, who started releasing mixtapes in 2015 and last February released his debut album “The Truth Hurts,” has been called “the West Coast’s most original stylist” for his dark, comedic lyrics and unflappable delivery. . His mixtape ‘Thank You for Using GTL’ features verses recorded at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

He grew up listening to bands like Hot Boyz, Boosie, Webbie, and Dipset, but said it was a fight rapper named Cocky who influenced him to rap.

“He was so sweet and calm rapping, despite the craziest things,” he told Billboard earlier this year. “It showed me that you don’t have to shout or be loud to get your point across. “

Caldwell pioneered a type of rap called “nervous music,” with cryptic, dark songs, the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2018: like a luxury sports car he controls.

Caldwell was released from prison in November 2020 after reaching a plea deal with LA County prosecutors who wanted to try him on conspiracy in the 2016 murder of a 24-year-old man. Previously, he had been acquitted of murder charges and attempted murder in the man’s death.

The Once Upon a Time in LA Fest confirmed in an Instagram post that the event was canceled earlier, and gave no reason.

The festival was hosted by Live Nation, the Beverly Hills-based live events company that was behind the Astroworld music festival last month in Houston, Texas.

Ten people were killed and hundreds injured when large crowds poured in during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.

In an email Sunday, Live Nation declined to give details of the altercation or provide details on the security of the event.


Gerald R. Schneider