Rapper Drakeo the Ruler Dies at 28 After Backstage Stabbing at Once Upon a Time in L.A. Festival: Reports

The Once Upon a Time in L.A. Fest — headlined by Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and 50 Cent — ended early after the "Talk to Me" rapper was stabbed Saturday night

SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Drakeo the Ruler performs during Rolling Loud at NOS Events Center on December 12, 2021 in San Bernardino, California.
Drakeo the Ruler. Photo: Timothy Norris/WireImage

Drakeo the Ruler has reportedly died after being stabbed backstage at the Once Upon a Time in L.A. Fest. He was 28.

The "Talk to Me" rapper was set to perform at the Los Angeles festival prior to his stabbing Saturday night. His death has since been reported by Rolling Stone.

According to the L.A. Fire Department, a man was transported to a local hospital in critical condition after being stabbed around 8:39 p.m. local time Saturday at the festival in Exposition Park. Two sources confirm to PEOPLE that the man transported from the festival was Drakeo the Ruler.

After being transported, a source told PEOPLE that Drakeo was in critical condition. A graphic video circulating online showed the rapper lying on the ground and bleeding from his face.

A source told The Los Angeles Times that the rapper had been "pretty badly hurt." He eventually succumbed to his wounds, per the outlet.

Shortly after 10 p.m., attendees were alerted that the festival had ended early before headliners 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg were able to perform.

"The Once Upon a Time in L.A. Fest is ending early. All performances are now over," a statement from the festival organizers read. "Please head to the closest exit and head eastbound on MLK."

The festival featured three stages and, before the stabbing, included performances from Snow Tha Product, E-40, Ice Cube, Blueface, and Destiny Rogers. According to the set times shared by the festival, Drakeo was set to perform at 8:30 p.m. on the G-Funk Stage.

Lieutenant Dan Ellerson at the neighboring University of Southern California's Department of Public Safety told PEOPLE Saturday night that no one was in custody and that Snoop Dogg had left the venue shortly after the stabbing.

LAPD cordoned off the area where the stabbing took place and additional officers were requested to respond to crowd control, Ellerson said.

Drakeo — responsible for "Impatient Freestyle" and the mixtape Cold Devil — was acquitted in 2019 of felony murder charges and attempted murder following the 2016 killing of a 24-year-old man, according to The Los Angeles Times. The prosecution refiled charges following a hung jury on two counts, and he was released from custody in November 2020 after striking a plea deal.

Related Articles