L.A. Rapper Drakeo The Ruler Dies At 28

He was stabbed at the Snoop Dogg-headlined festival concert.

The Snoop Dogg-headlined Once Upon a Time in L.A. festival concert was abruptly canceled after a huge fight resulted in the stabbing of Drakeo the Ruler.

Paramedics responded to a call about a stabbing around 8:40 p.m. in the 3900 block of South Hoover Street, Margaret Stewart, a public information officer for the Los Angeles Fire Department told The Los Angeles Times.

It is said that Drakeo the Ruler was attacked by a group of people at the music festival and was taken to the hospital seriously injured.

Drakeo the Ruler, 28, was one of a dozen rappers on a stacked bill which also included 50 Cent, YG, The Game, and Ice Cube. The huge all-day event took place Saturday, Dec. 18, in L.A.’s Exposition Park. According to TMZ, Drakeo, born Darrell Caldwell, was backstage around 8:30 p.m. when a fight broke out — and during the altercation, he was stabbed.

He was rushed to a hospital, where multiple sources tell TMZ, Cadwell passed away from his injuries.

After the fight and Drakeo’s stabbing, concert organizers shut down the rest of the festival, which meant headliners, including The Isley Brothers and George Clinton, never even took the stage.

Described by the L.A. Times as “the most original West Coast stylist in decades,” his subsequent run-ins with the law were consistently chronicled at Passion of the Weiss. From being charged and acquitted of first-degree, attempted, and conspiracy murder charges, Drakeo was facing life in prison after a Dec. 2016 shooting in Carson, Calif., resulted in one death and two injuries. 

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In August 2019, the district attorney decided to refile charges of criminal gang conspiracy and shooting from a motor vehicle, two counts that resulted in a hung jury. From his Free Drakeo project to his Thank You for Using GTL, which Pitchfork called “likely the greatest rap album ever recorded from jail,” Drakeo was known for his unique flow, as well as his “oddly expressive, poetic word-choices,” according to the L.A. Times. offers condolences and prayers to those impacted by his passing. Below, hip hop reacts to his passing.

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