The Hip-Hop community received tragic news over the weekend as rapper Drakeo the Ruler died Sunday (Dec. 19) morning after being stabbed in the neck during an altercation at the Once Upon a Time in L.A. concert.
According to reports, Drakeo, born Darrell Caldwell, was slated to perform at the Snoop Dogg-headlined music festival, which was held in Los Angeles at Exposition Park, but never made it to the stage as he and his entourage were attacked by a large group of men around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 18) evening, with one of the men fatally stabbing Drakeo during the melee. Paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after and rushed Drakeo to a local hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. He was 28 years old.
Various peers and close friends of Drakeo shared their disbelief of the news via social media, including Snoop Dogg, who posted a message reacting to reports of Drakeo’s death while sending encouraging words to his family. “My prayers go out to everyone affected by tragedy. Please take care, love one another and stay safe ya’ll,” he wrote. “IM PRAYING FOR PEACE IN HIP HOP.”
Prior to his death, Drakeo the Ruler built a reputation for himself inside and outside of the booth, with his alleged criminal exploits making him one of the more credible street orators out of the left coast in recent memory. Dropping his debut mixtape, I Am Mr. Mosley, in 2015, Drakeo, who aligned himself with producer DJ Mustard and his 10 Summers imprint, followed that up with I Am Mr. Mosley 2 the following year, but was arrested in 2017 on illegal firearm charges.
Released from prison that same year, Drakeo was picked up again in 2018 on charges including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, which he was acquitted of in July 2019. Despite the district attorney refiling charges against Drakeo following his acquittal, he was ultimately released in November 2020.
John Hamasaki, Drakeo’s attorney, spoke on the rapper overcoming his legal troubles in a touching message shared on social media. “We spent the hardest two years together fighting for his freedom, facing life, before walking out a free man just over a year ago. Through it, we became friends and then like family. I don’t even know how to start processing this,” he wrote.
We spent the hardest two years together fighting for his freedom, facing life, before walking out a free man just over a year ago. Through it, we became friends and then like family. I don’t even know how to start processing this. Thanks for the kind messages ? https://t.co/A2KoyxqDdZ
— John Hamasaki (@HamasakiLaw) December 19, 2021
Additional mixtapes from Drakeo the Ruler include Cold Devil and his most recent full-length release, Thank You for Using GTL.