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A rap musician has died over the weekend after being stabbed backstage at a Los Angeles concert, according to reports.
An LAPD spokesperson cited “an incident” at the "Once Upon A Time in LA" music festival at Banc of California Stadium. While police have yet to publicly identify the victim, sources told the LA Times it was 28-year-old hip-hop artist Drakeo The Ruler, whose real name was Darrell Caldwell.
According to the festival’s schedule, Drakeo The Ruler was expected to perform at 8:30 p.m.
First responders arrived at the stadium at around 8:40 p.m., according to the LA Times. Public Information Officer Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department stated one person was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Another source claimed Drakeo The Ruler was “attacked by a group of people.”
The hip-hop festival, headlined by rap music icons such as Snoop Dog and 50 Cent, announced the event’s cancellation following Saturday night’s incident.
The rapper later succumbed to his injuries, according to KTLA News. He sustained stab wounds to his neck.
Graphic video captured by witnesses began circulating the internet shortly after the attack, showing the victim bleeding profusely from his face while lying on the ground.
“Detectives are still trying to figure things out,” LAPD Officer Luis Garcia told the Times. No arrests had been made.
Authorities have not yet commented on what led to the attack.
Caldwell was previously acquitted of a felony murder charge in 2019 after spending several years behind bars. While jailed, he produced and released the critically acclaimed album "Thank You for Using GTL," which, according to CNN, is a reference to Global Tel Link, a firm that handles communications for incarcerated people.
John Hamasaki, Caldwell’s defense attorney in that case, reacted to the news of Saturday’s stabbing.
“We spent the hardest two years together fighting for his freedom, facing life, before walking out a free man just over a year ago,” said Hamasaki. “Through it, we became friends and then like family. I don’t even know how to start processing this.”
News of Caldwell’s murder has reverberated through the rap community. On Sunday, rapper Snoop Dogg tweeted a statement on his page.
“I’m saddened by the events that took place last night at the Once Upon A Time in LA festival,” said Snoop Dogg. “My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Drakeo The Ruler.”
Snoop Dogg called for peace within the music community, concluding his tweet with “I’M PRAYING FOR PEACE IN HIP HOP.”
The murder is under investigation with the California Highway Patrol.
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