Drakeo the Ruler's Family Announces Lawsuit in Rapper's Stabbing Death at LA Music Festival

Drakeo the Ruler died in December after a backstage attack during the Once Upon a Time in LA festival at the Banc of California Stadium.

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The family of rapper Drakeo the Ruler announced a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday after the artist was stabbed backstage during a music festival in Los Angeles. 

He died in December after the attack during the Once Upon a Time in LA festival at the Banc of California Stadium. Family members and attorneys announced the lawsuit Thursday morning.

Details about the lawsuit were not immediately available.

The 28-year-old, whose real name is Darrell Caldwell, was scheduled to perform at the festival. His death left fans of the young musician and other artists heartbroken

No arrests have been reported.

Caldwell, who started releasing mixtapes in 2015 and this past February debuted his first album “The Truth Hurts,” has been called “the most original stylist on the West Coast” for his darkly comedic lyrics and deadpan delivery. His mixtape “Thank You for Using GTL” contains verses recorded at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

He grew up listening to acts like Hot Boyz, Boosie, Webbie and Dipset, but said it was a battle rapper named Cocky who influenced him to rap.


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Caldwell pioneered a type of rap called “nervous music,” with songs that were cryptic and dark, the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2018: “His cadences run counterclockwise to the drums, somehow both herky-jerky like a stickshift and swift and smooth like a luxury sports car it controls."

Caldwell was released from jail in November 2020 after reaching a plea deal with LA County prosecutors who wanted to try him on conspiracy charges in the 2016 killing of a 24-year-old man. Previously he had been acquitted of felony murder and attempted murder charges in the man's death.

“We spent the hardest two years together fighting for his freedom, facing life, before walking out a free man just over a year ago,” Caldwell’s attorney, John Hamasaki, tweeted. “Through it, we became friends and then like family. I don’t even know how to start processing this. Thanks for the kind messages.”

The Once Upon a Time in LA Fest was organized by Live Nation, the Beverly Hills-based live events company that was behind the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas. Ten people were killed and hundreds injured there when a large crowd surged during a performance by the rapper Travis Scott.

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