Hip-hop artist Drakeo the Ruler was fatally stabbed during the Once Upon a Time in LA concert at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday night, a source told The Times.
Paramedics responded to a report of a stabbing in Exhibition Park stadium around 8:40 p.m., said Margaret Stewart, public information officer for the Los Angeles Fire Department. One person was taken to hospital in critical condition, she said.
The individual has not been identified, but someone with direct knowledge of the incident told The Times that Drakeo the Sovereign was attacked by a group of people.
The rapper was scheduled to perform at the concert, which included lineup consisting of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and 50 Cent.
The rapper, real name Darrell Caldwell, later died of his injuries, according to the source, who requested anonymity to frankly discuss the case.
A source said the video after the stabbing showed people rushing to the stage and security guards trying to end a fight.
Caldwell, 28, was backstage when an argument broke out between several people and he was stabbed, according to the source.
No arrests had been made on Sunday morning, said officer Luis Garcia, spokesperson for the LAPD. “Detectives are still trying to figure things out,” he said.
The California Highway Patrol said it was handling the investigation and asked anyone with information to call the South Division Investigative Services Unit at (323) 644-9550.
Shortly after the stabbing, organizers put an end to the event as patrons moved to exit. The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter that an “incident” had occurred but did not provide details. “The festival ended early. LAPD will be in the area to help [California Highway Patrol] with the investigation, ”the agency said.
The music festival was late. Snoop Dogg was scheduled to perform at 8:30 am, but a DJ on the main stage had been playing for about 45 minutes.
Snoop Dogg said in a declaration that he heard about the incident while in his dressing room and chose to leave the festival grounds immediately.
“My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Drakeo the Sovereign,” he wrote. “Nothing negative about it and as one of the many artists I was there to spread positive vibes only in my hometown of LA.”
At around 9:20 a.m., the backstage entrance appeared to be blocked by the police. At least 20 police gathered behind the main stage, where yellow police tape was taped.
At 9:30 p.m., there had been no announcements from the festival organizers.
Shortly before midnight, Live Nation released a statement: “There was a backstage altercation on the pavement. Out of respect for those involved and in coordination with local authorities, the artists and organizers decided not to go ahead with the remaining sets, so the festival ended an hour earlier.
Photographer Bridget Arias said she was working backstage at the event, watching George Clinton perform around 8pm, when she heard someone say, “Drakeo was stabbed. Then another person confirmed it and then it was kind of like the monkey game where everyone was rehearsing a version of what was going on.
Soon after, festival security ordered her and others to leave, she said, although in confusion they were still stuck in their car hours later.
Caldwell, from LA, released 10 mixtapes and released his debut studio album earlier this year. He recorded the mixtape “Thank You for Using GTL”, a reference to the prison communications company Global Tel Link, with verses recorded over the phone while being held at the Central Men’s Prison awaiting trial. in connection with the 2016 murder of a 24-year-old man.
Caldwell was acquitted of the murder and attempted murder charges, but LA County prosecutors sought to retry him on charges of conspiring to murder. The second case was ultimately resolved by a plea deal and Caldwell was released in November 2020.
Friends and colleagues of the rapper mourned his death on Sunday.
“We spent the most difficult two years together fighting for his freedom, in the face of life, before releasing a free man a little over a year ago,” wrote attorney John Hamasaki, who defended Drakeo against criminal charges. “Thanks to that, we became friends, then like family. I don’t even know how to start dealing with this.
“He was special, a rightful genius and a kind and caring friend,” journalist Jeff Weiss tweeted. “There are no words to express grief.”