Influential LA rapper Drakeo the Ruler is killed at the age of 28


Drakeo the Ruler, whose surrealist slang made him one of the most original stylists in Los Angeles hip-hop, died on Sunday morning from injuries sustained during a stabbing at LA’s Once Upon a Time festival. he was 28

A Drakeo representative confirmed his death to The Times.

That’s what Drakeo’s attorney, John Hamasaki, said in an opinion, “We spent the hardest of two years together fighting for his freedom and confronting life before walking out a free man a little over a year ago. That’s how we became friends and then like family. I don’t even know how to start processing this.”

The rapper, born Darrell Caldwell, grew up in South LA and attended Washington High in the Westmont neighborhood. He quickly developed an idiosyncratic but impressive range of lyrics. Drakeo called it “edgy music” for a reason – his music drips with paranoia but opens up to a rich inner world.

“I know how to code everything and I change it every time I get bored,” he told The Times in 2018. “People think I’m just making up words, but everything means something.”

After being discovered by local hip-hop production hero DJ Mustard, Drakeo helped define the region’s evolving rap sound, alongside peers like 03 Greedo, G Perico and Shoreline Mafia, in the wake of imaginative, provocative superstar acts of the 2010s like Tyler the Creator and Kendrick Lamar.

On 2016’s “Impatient Freestyle,” he began with a telling boast — “If I could write a movie, I would ‘The Exorcist’ / I’m heaven-sent, n— think twice who you mess with.” – before he was fast Let’s turn to the privations of the prison: “Giving n- hell ’cause upstairs they say the beds are full.”

Drakeo recorded several popular and acclaimed mixtapes, including 2018’s “Cold Devil” and 2020’s “Thank You For Using GTL.”

But his rap success came at a difficult time in his young life. Until last year, he was on trial in connection with the 2016 killing of a 24-year-old man. Drakeo faced a life sentence for first-degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

He recorded his vocals over the phone while in LA’s Men’s Central Jail for “Thank You For Using GTL,” the title of which is a sly but somber nod to the company that connects prison phone services. The album, which features Drakeo’s voice over a noisy phone line interrupted by the company’s automated messages, was hailed as one of the greatest works of art ever created behind bars.

His rap crew, Stinc Team, had been labeled a gang by LA County prosecutors who played music videos of Drakeo at gunpoint in court. Speaking on “GTL,” Drakeo enjoyed how prosecutors were obsessed with using his rap career as evidence at his trial: “This may sound real, but it’s fictional / I love that my imagination comes to you.” , he rapped closer to the album “Fiktiv.”

After he was acquitted of felony murder and attempted murder, county prosecutors attempted to retrial Drakeo on conspiracy charges related to the killing. Caldwell eventually accepted a plea deal and was released in November 2020.

His lyrics alluded to an ever-present sense of danger all around him. “Don’t be shy, I got killers with me, stupid / I march with sticks, I ain’t worry ’bout no groupies,” he rapped on “Talk To Me,” his biggest single to date, with over 32 million Spotify plays .

“I live a nervous life. I have to look around and protect myself from the police and the others [people] out here,” he told the Times in 2018. “[People] want to kill me I can’t drive around in $100,000 cars on the run and listen to soft ass [music].”
Drakeo released his latest studio album, The Truth Hurts, in February, featuring guest appearances from superstar Drake and Don Toliver. His latest mixtape, So Cold I Do Em 2, was released on December 7th.

At 8:40 p.m. Saturday, the LA Fire Department responded to a call about an altercation at the music festival being held at Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park. A source not authorized to speak publicly identified the victim as Drakeo. The rest of the festival’s sets featuring the Isley Brothers, YG, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent have been cancelled.

in the a statement On Sunday morning, Snoop Dogg – a festival co-promoter with Live Nation – wrote on social media that he was “sad about the events that took place last night at the Once Upon a Time in LA festival… Last night I was in my dressing room.” , when I found out about the incident and decided to leave the festival site immediately. My prayers go out to all affected by the tragedy. Please take care of yourselves, love each other and stay healthy everyone. I pray for peace in hip hop.”

Caldwell is survived by his son and brother, LA rapper Ralfy the Plug. Influential LA rapper Drakeo the Ruler is killed at the age of 28

Caroline Bleakley

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