LOS ANGELES – The West Coast rapper known as Draco the Ruler was fatally stabbed in a brawl at a Los Angeles music festival where he was supposed to perform, leaving fans of the young musician heartbroken.
Scott Jousson, a publicist for the rapper, confirmed his death to the New York Times and Rolling Stone on Sunday. The real name of the artist was Darrell Caldwell.
Caldwell, 28, was attacked Saturday night at a Once Upon a Time in L.A. concert, which was expected to be attended by several artists including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Ice Cube. The organizers canceled the festival after knife-fighting.
The California Highway Patrol said in a bare-bones news release that a fight broke out behind the main stage shortly after 8:30 p.m., in which one man was seriously injured, with a sharp-edged weapon bearing Caldwell’s name. was not. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department also responded.
LAPD spokesman Officer Luis Garcia told the Los Angeles Times that no arrests had been made as of Sunday.
Music journalists and fans were delighted by Caldwell’s unique sound and boundless creativity. His death highlighted the violent demise of other talented young black musicians, including fellow LA rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019 and the highly influential Tupac Shakur in 1996. Both men were shot.
Snoop Dogg offered condolences to Caldwell’s family on social media and prayed for those affected by the tragedy. “I’m praying for peace in hip hop,” he said.
Caldwell, who began releasing mixtapes in 2015 and debuted her debut album “The Truth Hurts” last February, has been called “the most original stylist on the West Coast” for her darkly humorous lyrics and deadpan delivery. His mixtape “Thank You for Using GTL” features verses recorded at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.
He grew up listening to acts such as the Hot Boys, Boosie, Webby and the Dipset, but he said that it was a war rapper named Cocky who influenced him to rap.
He told Billboard earlier this year, “He was very comfortable and calm when rapping, despite saying some crazy things.” “It showed me that you don’t have to shout or be loud enough to get your point across.”
Caldwell pioneered a type of rap called “nervous music” that were accompanied by esoteric and dark lyrics, the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2018: “Their rhythm moves counterclockwise to the drums, somehow of a stickshift. Kind of harky-jerky and fast and smooth like a luxury sports car he controls.”
Caldwell was released from prison in November 2020 after reaching a plea with LA County prosecutors who wanted to prosecute him on charges of conspiracy to murder a 24-year-old man in 2016. He had previously been acquitted of the charges of felony and attempt to murder in the death of the man.
Once Upon a Time in L.A. Fest confirmed in an Instagram post that the event was called off early, and gave no reason.
The festival was organized by Live Nation, the Beverly Hills-based live events company behind the Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas, last month.
Ten people were killed and hundreds were injured as a huge crowd gathered during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. An email message seeking comment from Live Nation on Sunday has not been returned.
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