Drakeo the Ruler Stabbed to Death at Los Angeles Festival

Dimas Sanfiorenzo Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes…
Drakeo the ruler
Photo Credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Drakeo the Ruler, one of the most promising Los Angeles rappers, was killed backstage at a festival.

L.A. rapper Drakeo the Ruler is dead after being stabbed to death backstage at the Once Upon a Time festival. Drakeo was only 28.

According to TMZ, Drakeo was backstage at the Once Upon a Time festival when a fight broke out at around 8:30 PM PST. Drakeo was stabbed in the melee. (The rumor was that he was stabbed in the neck, but the LAPD has not confirmed the details.) Drakeo was taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

After the incident, the festival was shut down and  headliners like Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent never took the stage.

Drakeo the Ruler, who was born Darrell Caldwel, was one of the most prominent rappers to come out of Los Angeles. Drakeo first came on the scene in 2015, with the success of his street record “Mr. Get Dough” — a song that DJ Mustard would remix. In 2017 Drakeo released what many consider to his magnum opus  Cold Devil, featuring the classic single “Flu Flamming.” However as his music career was on the rise, legal issues started to build up.

Drakeo spent much of the last couple of years fighting a complicated conspiracy case. In 2019, he was acquitted of murder and attempted murder charges, but the district attorney decided to refile gang-conspiracy and shooting from a motor vehicle charges stemming from an unrelated case in 2016. But on November 4th, 2020, Drakeo was released from prison following a plea deal offered by the D.A.

From there, Drakeo hit the ground running, dropping a number of tapes, including We Know the Truth, The Truth Hurts, and Ain’t That the Truth. He also started getting a lot more attention from rap elite, dropping collaborations with Earl Sweatshirt and Drake.

Back in March, we spoke with Drakeo about his post prison life. During the interview he talked about how the support from fans kept him going over the years. 

“It’s really crucial because, for me, I’ve been in jail three years and to still have my fans, hundreds of thousands of more fans is kind of crazy. Some people don’t get that love. Some people, three years go by and their career is over, but I got some loyal fans. So that’s important. I appreciate all my fans that believed in me, or whatever. That played a big part in keeping my head straight, knowing that I have fans out there to support me when I got out. When I got out, it was okay. It was real. Time to get back to it.”

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