Rapper Drakeo the Ruler Killed at Hometown Concert in L.A.

Rapper Drakeo the Ruler was killed in Los Angeles late Saturday night after he was stabbed with a knife during an altercation near the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park, during the Once Upon a Time in L.A. concert where Drakeo and dozens of performers, including Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, were scheduled to perform. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, paramedics arrived on the scene around 8:40 p.m. after reports of a stabbing. A rep for the rapper confirmed to Rolling Stone that the victim was Darrell Caldwell, known in the rap world as Drakeo the Ruler. Caldwell was admitted to a hospital in critical condition where he later succumbed to his injuries. The rapper celebrated his 28th birthday on December 1st.

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The organizers of Once Upon a Time in LA Fest said in a statement, “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.”

After releasing his first mixtape, I Am Mr. Mosely in 2015, Drakeo built a sizable discography leading up to his debut album The Truth Hurts this past February. He dropped his latest mixtape, So Cold I Do Em 2 on December 7.

The rapper was known for his distinctly deadpan delivery and the dark humor that characterized his work. In an interview with Rolling Stone published in March, Drakeo described the sense of purpose he was settling into. “I really like making music now,” he said. “It means a lot ‘cause [before] I didn’t really care about it like that.”

“I just want people to know that I’m here to stay,” he continued. “I want them to take my music seriously and feel everything. I mean, a lot of people know about my story … but I want them to know I had to go through a lot to get the things that I got. I might talk a certain way or say certain things, but I’ve been through a lot in my life. I want them to feel what I went through. When I did the song for the homie [“Long Live the Greatest”], people told me, “I feel you,” and, “I know what you was going through.” I want them to know that I’m a real person, that we’re the same.”

Drakeo the Ruler was released from L.A.’s Men’s Central Jail in November of last year, after being incarcerated on gun charges in 2017 and indicted on an array of counts related to the 2016 killing of a 24-year-old man outside of a party. He was released with time served only after agreeing to plead guilty to shooting from a motor vehicle with a gang enhancement. His rap crew, Stinc Team, was made out to be a gang by the prosecution who often presented Drakeo’s lyrics and music videos as evidence. Though he accepted the plea, Drakeo asserted his innocence. 

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