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Live Nation Says Drakeo The Ruler’s Killing At Concert Was ‘Unforeseeable’

The rapper's brother says security was "lackadaisical" at best, but Live Nation says it couldn't have seen the attack coming.

Live Nation is asking a Los Angeles judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the brother of the late Drakeo The Ruler, arguing that the rapper’s stabbing at a December concert festival was an “unforeseeable” criminal act.

In court filings made public on Tuesday (July 19), attorneys for the concert giant said it was not legally liable for the Dec. 18 backstage attack on Drakeo (real name Darrell Caldwell) at Once Upon A Time in L.A., for which a suspect has not yet been arrested.

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Drakeo’s brother Devante Caldwell sued in February on the grounds that Live Nation’s “lackadaisical” security measures failed to keep performers safe. But the company argued this week that the mob attack is not the kind of thing that a concert promoter was legally required to have seen coming.

The lawyers argued that there was no evidence that similar prior attacks had taken place at the venue, or that Drakeo or his reps had “asked for additional security prior to the event.” The company also said there’s no proof that Live Nation “disallowed” Drakeo to bring his own security force.

Caldwell’s lawsuit claimed that Live Nation should have known that South Central Los Angeles was “rife with gang activity and boasts one of the highest rates of violent crimes in the city,” but Live Nation’s attorneys said that wasn’t enough to legally put the company on the hook for the attack.

“Case law does not support the logic between imputing liability for prior similar incidents based on alleged conduct that occurred in the city surrounding the subject premises,” Live Nation’s lawyers wrote. “Mere allegations of gang activity and associated general safety concerns in South Central Los Angeles should not be considered in determining foreseeability of the subject incident.”

An attorney for Devante Caldwell did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.

At the time of his death, Drakeo the Ruler was stepping up as a prolific artist and had released five projects since 2020. The artist had recently released a 17-track mixtape, The Truth Hurts, that included Drake among its collaborators.

On the night of the attack, Drakeo had been scheduled to perform Once Upon a Time in L.A. but was stabbed around 8:30 pm amid a large fight backstage. The rapper was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died from his injuries. The event was also slated to feature Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, YG and The Game, but was shut down after Drakeo’s death.

In his February complaint, Devante Caldwell described the incident in shocking detail — not as a brief scuffle, but rather as multiple waves of attack by dozens of men that lasted more than 15 minutes.

“This second attack lasted far longer than the first — up to 10 minutes — and was more vicious,” his lawyers wrote at the time. “Throughout that time, Drakeo and his group fought for their lives against insurmountable odds, shocked and horrified at the fact that no security ever materialized to intervene.”

In addition to the case filed by Devante, Live Nation is also facing such cases from his mother, Darrylene Corniel, and his son, Caiden Caldwell. The company will likely file similar arguments in the weeks ahead seeking to dismiss those cases, too.