Los Angeles rapper Drakeo the Ruler has died after being stabbed multiple times at a Los Angeles festival, a representative for the artist confirmed to Billboard. He was 28.
The up-and-coming South Central rapper, whose real name was Darrell Caldwell, was attacked at the Once Upon a Time in LA concert at Banc of California and Exposition Park on Saturday (Dec. 18), according to a Los Angeles Times report, which cites a person with direct knowledge of the assault who requested anonymity.
Once Upon a Time in LA organizers confirmed in an Instagram post that the event had been shuttered early without providing an explanation. The concert was expected to feature such artists as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, YG and The Game.
Margaret Stewart, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, told reporters that a man was taken to a hospital by ambulance in critical condition, the Associated Press reports. The Los Angeles Police Department is assisting the California Highway Patrol in the investigation, the LAPD tweeted.
With the potential to create a long-lasting legacy that cemented his own place in the West Coast’s lineage of rap greats, Drakeo had already released five musical projects since 2020. His most recent was a 17-track mixtape, titled The Truth Hurts, featuring Drake on the chilled-out song “Talk to Me.”
“If someone else is going hard, I love challenging myself to be better than them,” Drakeo told Billboard in March. “It’s also why I record so much music, especially with the fact, I get tired of my own stuff after hearing it too many times. On a bad day, I record five songs but usually, I knock out nine or ten songs — and I do so until I’m tired and can’t do it anymore.”
The Truth Hurts was Drakeo’s first release since last year’s Thank You For Using GTL and followed his release in November after a 34-month stint in jail on a controversial murder charge. Other guests featured on the collection include Don Toliver, Icewear Vezzo, and Stinc Team members Ralfy the Plug and Ketchy the Great.
Drakeo’s past collaborations have ranged from going toe-to-toe with 03 Cali staples Greedo and OhGeesy to vibing with Seattle upstart Lil Mosey to telling stories about life in L.A. with his late friend and Stinc Team member, Ketchy the Great.
“Whether it’s through my music or off of it, I find different ways to get my point across without being preachy,” Drakeo said. “Whether it’s being funny or just saying it in a line on a song, I want to find the best ways to explain to people what’s going on, so it’s properly understood.”
Drakeo was remembered by numerous artists following his death, including Drake. “Nah man this s— isn’t right for real wtf are we doing,” the Toronto MC wrote on his Instagram Story. “Always picked my spirit up with your energy RIP Drakeo.”