Drakeo, born Darrell Caldwell, was attacked by a group of people and died hours later on Dec. 19 from his stab wounds. Several videos emerged after the muder, sources told the Los Angeles Times. Caldwell’s mother, Darrylene Corniel, is blaming not only the killer but the event’s security and says she plans to sue the event organizer, Live Nation.
This will not be the first lawsuit against Live Nation on behalf of the survivors of victims. Hip-hop artists Travis Scott and Drake and Apple Music were named in a $2 billion dollar class-action lawsuit on behalf of victims of the Nov. 5 tragedy at the Astroworld concert in Houston, where 10 people were crushed to death and hundreds more were injured.
“We plan to sue,” Corniel told Rolling Stone. “This happened backstage at an event. Someone has to be held accountable.”
The concert was held at the Banc of California Stadium in L.A.’s Exposition Park.
In a statement, Live Nation said the fatal stabbing happened “in a roadway backstage” and that it caused the festival to end an hour early.
“We are extremely saddened by the passing of Drakeo The Ruler. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones and fans and we’re doing everything we can to assist authorities in their investigation,” a representative for Live Nation said in an email to Rolling Stone.
People entering the backstage area were supposed to pass through a metal detector and a screening area patrolled by K9s trained to detect gunpowder and other explosives, a source told Rolling Stone.
According to California Highway Patrol investigators, “a suspect wielding an edged weapon” entered. It was not immediately clear if the weapon was smuggled through security or possibly an object found backstage that was turned into a weapon.
“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.”
Drakeo, 28, was scheduled to perform at the show alongside Ice Cube, 50 Cent, Y.G., The Game and Al Green before he was “severely injured by a suspect with an edged weapon” during a fight backstage, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“He was hit in his neck. I saw him when I went to the hospital,” Corniel told Rolling Stone. “They said it’s a homicide, so I wasn’t able to hug him or kiss him or anything like that. I had to look at him through a window.”
Corniel, 53, said her son Drakeo The Ruler and his younger brother, Devonte Caldwell — a hip-hop artist known as Ralfy the Plug — were backstage with a small group of friends when a “large influx” of people arrived at the same time as hip-hop artist YG, Billboard reported.
“Drakeo The Ruler’s affiliate, K7 The Finesser, thinks YG set up the attack on the rapper, which led to his fatal stabbing,” tweeted HotNewHipHop.
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Describing the scene backstage, Corniel told Rolling Stone, “They said there were, like, 40 to 60 people” who “swamped” her sons and their small entourage. “Everything just happened so quickly. They started trying to jump them.”
Corniel said she will not stop until the case is solved. “I need this to be out there. I need people to know. And I do want justice for my son,” she said. “And I do believe that justice will be served. I will not rest until justice is served.”
Drakeo the Ruler attends Saweetie’s Freaknik Birthday Party at Guys Sound Stage, West Hollywood, California, July 2, 2021. Credit: Walik Goshorn/MediaPunch /IPX