LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Darrell Caldwell, aka Drakeo the Ruler was fatally stabbed backstage at the Once Upon a Time music festival, confirmed by his publicist, Scott Jawson to numerous media outlets. The 28-year-old rapper, born in Los Angeles, was scheduled to take the stage at 8:30pm, which featured hip-hop greats Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and 50 Cent, among others.
Darrell Caldwell grew up in South L.A. and raised by a single mother, close to where the stabbing took place. He had seen his fair share of legal troubles prior to the festival. NDTV.com reports he was arrested in 2017 on a weapons charge and again in 2018 for murder related to a shooting death of a 24-year-old man. Drakeo spent numerous years in prison on that charge. He was acquitted in 2019 but ended up behind bars again when charged with gang conspiracy. He recorded his album, “Thank You for Using GTL” while incarcerated and rapped the lines over the prison phone to his producer. In an interview with The Ringer shortly after his 2020 release, Drakeo said his aspiration was to “get my mom and everybody that I can take care of out of poverty”.
Late Saturday night, the festival suddenly confirmed via Instagram, that the festival was called off early but did not specify a reason. California State Highway Patrol (CHP) said in a statement that an unidentified victim was wounded in a fight that broke out behind the main stage of Banc of California Stadium. The CHP reported, “During the altercation, one man was severely injured by a suspect wielding an edged weapon.” Festival organizers, Live Nation said in a statement that there had been “an altercation in the roadway backstage and out of respect for those involved and in coordination with local authorities, artists and organizers decided not to move forward with remaining sets.”
Drakeo was known along the west coast for pioneering what has been coined, “nervous music,” with dark lyrics, psychedelic slang and erratic or “nervous” rhythms. Hip-hop and rap are no strangers to the murder game with Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., Nipsey Hussle, Jam Master Jay and many others. Drakeo the Ruler, unfortunately, becomes another statistic in that long history. Another talent gone before their time. As of late Sunday night, no arrests in connection with the stabbing have been announced.
See below for fellow artist statements regarding the news of his death.
Drake: “Nah man this shit isn’t right for real wtf are we doing. Always picked my spirit up with your energy. RIP Drakeo.”
Saweetie: “Man Drakeo was always hella cool and respectful. Prayers up for his family. RIP The Ruler.”
Jim Jones: “They know who we are cause of our fame but we don’t know who they are because of our fame. Feels like we lost a rapper every week this year. There was a time when we were protected in the community, we were treated as super heroes. Not no more.”
Snoop Dogg: “I’m saddened by the events that took place last night at the Once Upon a Time in L.A. festival. My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Drakeo. IM PRAYING FOR PEACE IN HIP HOP.”