South Central, Los Angeles–Over the weekend Los Angeles was rocked with the loss of another prominent Black rapper. Drakeo The Ruler, born Darrell Caldwell, was said to have been attacked by a group of people backstage during Once Upon A Time in L.A festival.
The concert had artists including Al Green, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg scheduled to perform and was organized by Live Nation.
During the melee, Drakeo was stabbed with a blade in his neck, according to his mother Darrylene Corniel. She spoke with Rolling Stone Magazine, where she shared her plans to file a lawsuit against the concert venue for negligence and lack of security leading to her son’s death.
“They let all these people in, and you’re not supposed to have all these people backstage. And your security is supposed to be in place,” Corniel said Monday. “The whole program should have been orchestrated a lot better than what it was. And there should have been more protection. Even if you have metal detectors, even if you pat them down, you let those people come in there. You had more people come in than you were supposed to. And you allowed them to jump my son. You didn’t protect my son.
Darrell, my son, had a good heart. He took care of those around him because I taught him that, to watch out for everybody,” she said. “People who really know my son knew he was a real individual. He had a genuine heart,” (Rolling Stone).
In November 2020, Drakeo was released from jail after District Attorney Jackey Lacey was voted out of office, in favor of L.A’s current D.A George Gascon. Drakeo had been acquitted of murder in 2017 but sat in prison after prosecutors alleged his lyrics helped cultivate a culture of gang violence and was evidence that he himself was part of a gang.
While in prison, Drakeo released an album that was recorded over a prison phone. Following his release, he dropped six projects as well as a song with Drake.
“While at the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, Drakeo recorded a mixtape using the prison phone system. At the end of each song, a computer-generated woman’s voice can be heard saying, “Thank you for using GTL.” GTL refers to prison communications company Global Tel Link, and “Thank You for Using GTL” became the name for the mixtape.
Drakeo’s, producer, JoogSZN, told the ABA Journal in December 2020 that GTL was billing Drakeo about 25 cents per minute for the nearly 2,000 minutes that it took to make the tape. JoogSZN said he appreciates that press attention from the recording shined a spotlight on the justice system and the billing practices of GTL,” (ABA Journal).
Drakeo was not formally a member of a local street gang in Los Angeles, rather creating his own music collective made up of local rappers and artists who called themselves the ‘Stinc Team.’ He was able to maintain a high level of interest and relevancy following his incarceration, that allowed for him to step right back into his role following his release from jail after striking a plea deal.
“HOW YALL LET ME COME HOME AND DO YALL LIKE THIS I BEEN OUT A WEEK UNDERSTAND THAT I CAME HOME FLEXING LIKE THIS IN A PANDEMIC WHERE THERE ARE NO SHOWS AFTER BEING IN JAIL FOR 3 YEARS RUNNING THREW 3 LAWYERS FULLY INDEPENDENT WHEN ALL YOU PUSSY NIGGAS COUNTED ME OUT I STILL CAME HOME AND BALLED ON ALL YOU NIGGAS UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE NOT THE SAME WE ARE NOT EQUAL I AM THE TRUTH IM THE RULER IM THE DON BITCH PUT SOME RESPECT ON MY NAME AND HOPEFULLY YOU NIGGAS UNDERSTAND THAT IM THE TRUTH BITCH.
I MAKE LA LOOK GOOD AINT NO NIGGA EVER DO WHAT I DONE IM THE MOST INFLUENTIAL RAPPER IN CALIFORNIA WHAT WOULD YOU NIGGGAS DO WIT OUT ME HERE CONTINUE TO KEEP SLICING YALL WRIST CUS IMA KEEP FUCKING SHIT OVER TIL YALL GET THE POINT AND WHEN YALL THINK THIS SHIT OVER AND THINK YALL GET IT IMA TAKE IT FURTHER CUS YALL NIGGAS DONT KNOW WHAT I HAD TO GO THREW TO GET HERE BUT YALL HATE STINC TEAM DUMB ASS WE RUN THIS SHIT BITCH YOU NIGGAS JUST LIVE HERE,” he writes in an Instagram caption.”