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A Los Angeles music festival where hip-hop stars such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Ice Cube had been scheduled to perform concluded much earlier than planned after a rapper was reportedly stabbed backstage on Saturday night in an altercation with a group of men.
The victim in the incident that occurred around 8:30 p.m. local time that shut down the Once Upon a Time in L.A. concert at the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park was rapper Drakeo the Ruler, whose legal name is Darrell Caldwell.
“Drakeo was one of the dozens of billed performers at the huge all-day event…We’re told LAPD, California Highway Patrol and the fire department responded, and Drakeo was rushed to a hospital — but multiple sources tell us he died from his injuries,” TMZ reported. “There are reports he was stabbed in the neck, but we haven’t confirmed that yet. We’re told cops are investigating and will try to interview all artists and their entourages who were in the area when the fight started.”
The LAPD explained on its Twitter account Saturday night that an “incident” occurred, but provided no further details, other than the show “concluded early.” At approximately 10 p.m. local time, event organizers also confirmed via social media the early ending of the festival, which reportedly had already been running late, advising attendees to head to the nearest exit.
The Los Angeles Times provided this background information on the artist:
The 28-year-old Caldwell, an L.A. native, has released 10 mixtapes and put out his first studio album earlier this year. He recorded the mixtape “Thank You For Using GTL,” a reference to prison communications company Global Tel Link, with verses recorded over a phone while he was being held at Men’s Central Jail awaiting trial in connection with the 2016 killing of a 24-year-old man.
Caldwell was acquitted of felony murder and attempted murder charges, but Los Angeles County prosecutors sought to retry him on conspiracy charges in the slaying. The second case was ultimately resolved with a plea deal and Caldwell was released from custody in November 2020.
This video purports to show first responders rendering aid to Drakeo. There is also footage circulating the purports to show the attack itself, but it has not yet been validated.
***Caution: Disturbing Content:
Live Nation issued a statement shortly before midnight, according to the Los Angeles Times
“There was an altercation in the roadway backstage. Out of respect for those involved and in coordination with local authorities, artists and organizers decided not to move forward with remaining sets so the festival was ended an hour early.”
Condolences in the aftermath of this tragic occurrence are pouring in on social media. Here is just a representative sample:
Drake reacts to the passing of Drakeo The Ruler.🙏🏽
“Nah man this sh*t isn’t right for real wtf are we doing 😔😔😔 always picked my spirit up with your energy RIP Drakeo 🤞🏽” pic.twitter.com/G4lriXj7Iv
— Hip Hop Ties (@HipHopTiesMedia) December 19, 2021
Rest In Peace to Drakeo the Ruler, another rapper gone too soon. Prayers to his family, friends and fans 💔🕊 pic.twitter.com/Hd0vkm132l
— OnThinIce (@OnnThinlce) December 19, 2021
Rest In Peace Drakeo The Ruler 🕊 pic.twitter.com/LqQTz5UgG5
— No Jumper (@nojumper) December 19, 2021
RIP Drakeo The Ruler 💔
Another rapper gone way too soon due to violence, this just doesn’t seem to stop…
Fly high 🕊 pic.twitter.com/aKoOXz7F0b
— NFR Podcast (@nfr_podcast) December 19, 2021
LA rapper Drakeo The Ruler has unfortunately passed away after getting stabbed at “Once Upon A Time In LA” festival.
RIP to one of the greatest West Coast rappers to ever do it. Long live The Ruler.🙏🏽🕊 pic.twitter.com/tBgLadJXx5
— Hip Hop Ties (@HipHopTiesMedia) December 19, 2021
Rest in peace to Drakeo the Ruler, a great rapper and an American original.
— Tom Breihan (@tombreihan) December 19, 2021
Drakeo The Ruler has passed away following a backstage stabbing at the Once Upon a Time festival concert in LA.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace. 🤍🕊️
More: https://t.co/fsvI9rVj3m pic.twitter.com/ybFNE29HeS
— Complex (@Complex) December 19, 2021
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