US rapper Drakeo the Ruler has died after being stabbed at a music festival in Los Angeles.
A 28-year-old US rapper Drakeo the Ruler, real name Darrell Caldwell has been stabbed to death after being scheduled to perform at the Once Upon a Time in LA festival on Saturday night.
His publicist confirmed his death to media outlets on Sunday morning.
The rapper was reportedly stabbed during a misunderstanding backstage around the time he was to perform.
Margaret Stewart, a public information officer for the Los Angeles Fire Department said that paramedics responded to a report of a stabbing at the stadium in Exposition Park around 8:40 p.m. and that the rapper was then taken to hospital but later died from his injuries.
Los Angeles police are investigating, according to Luis Garcia, an LAPD spokesman. “Detectives are still trying to figure things out,” he said, informing reporters that no arrests had been made as of Sunday morning.
Drakeo the Ruler had over 1.5m monthly listeners on Spotify, with several collaborations with Canadian rapper Drake on the single “Talk to Me.”
The festival’s organizers, Live Nation, confirmed that there was an “altercation in the roadway backstage”. The event included performances from rappers 50 Cent and Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg on its lineup.
“Out of respect for those involved and in co-ordination with local authorities, artists and organisers decided not to move forward with remaining sets so the festival was ended an hour early,” it said.
Expressing himself on twitter, Snoop Dogg said “in my dressing room when I was informed about the incident and chose to immediately leave the festival grounds.”
“My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Drakeo the Ruler,” he said. “I’m praying for peace in hip-hop.”
The rapper was pictured with Drake on his Instagram page earlier this year.
As news of Drakeo’s death spread, other artists have expressed tributes on their social media handles.
The rapper Saweetie wrote on twitter: “Man Drakeo was always hella cool and respectful. Prayers up for his family. RIP The Ruler.” while another said “Always picked my spirit up with your energy. RIP Drakeo.”
Drake wrote on his Instagram stories early on Sunday.
Jim Jones wrote on his instagram advising his peers to stay safe. “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 th[e] community, we were treated as super heroes. Not no more.”
‘NERVOUS MUSIC’ PIONEER
Drakeo was born on 1 December 1993 in South Central Los Angeles to a single mother. He spent most of his time in youth in correctional facilities, where he was drawn to music as a way of escaping the chaos of street life.
His first mixtape, I Am Mr Mosely, was released in 2015 and he later recorded verses for the mixtape “Thank You for Using GTL” over a phone while he was awaiting trial at Men’s Central in connection with the 2016 shooting death of a 24-year-old man.
Drakeo was later acquitted, but prosecutors attempted to retry him on conspiracy charges. He entered a plea deal and was released from prison in November 2020.
Although his music did not make the chart, he was recognised as a trailblazer by his peers.
In a post on Twitter, LA writer Jeff Weiss called Drakeo the “greatest west coast artist of a generation, a legend who invented a new rap language of slippery cadences, nervous rhythms, and psychedelic slang.”