LA Music Festival Ends in a Sudden Tragedy

Drakeo the Ruler confirmed dead Sunday after backstage altercation
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2021 2:40 PM CST
Rapper Fatally Stabbed at LA Music Festival
File photo of Banc of California stadium in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

(Newser) – A rapper was stabbed at the Once Upon a Time in LA music festival on Saturday night, and the show ended early. The rapper, Drakeo the Ruler, died Sunday morning, his attorney, John Hamasaki, confirmed. He had been scheduled to perform at Banc of California stadium that night, and was backstage when a fight broke out, the LA Times reports. Paramedics arrived at 8:40pm and took someone to the hospital—apparently Drakeo—but details are murky. “Detectives are still trying to figure things out,” Officer Luis Garcia, a spokesman for the LAPD, said. Before the stabbing, the festival was already running behind. Snoop Dogg was scheduled to play, but was delayed. Witnesses said there were police visible at the backstage entrance, and the show was shut down early close to midnight.

“There was an altercation in the roadway backstage. Out of respect for those involved,” the show ended an hour early, LiveNation said in a statement. A photographer working the show said she had been watching George Clinton perform at about 8pm when she first heard the rumor that Drakeo had been stabbed. Drakeo was known for his nervous delivery and cryptic lyrics, the New York Times reports. After turning out several popular mix tapes, he released an album with lyrics recorded over the phone from jail in 2020. The title, Thank You for Using GTL, is a nod to the name of the phone system. The rapper, whose real name was Darrell Caldwell, was acquitted of felony murder charges in 2019 and struck a plea deal for conspiracy charges related to the same case. (Read more rapper stories.)

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