Lawsuit against Live Nation details murder of Drakeo the Sovereign

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday said negligence and lax security amid a heavy gang presence at a Live Nation ...


A wrongful death lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday said negligence and lax security amid a heavy gang presence at a Live Nation music festival led to the fatal stabbing of rapper Drakeo the Ruler in December.

The lawsuit, which seeks more than $25 million in damages on behalf of the rapper’s underage son, names festival organizer Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, as a defendant, along with three co-promoters – Bobby Dee Presents, C3 Presents and Jeff Shuman – as well as Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, which has sub-leased its stadium for the event.

Drakeo, born Darrell Caldwell, was preparing to perform at the festival on the night of December 18 when he was confronted backstage by more than 100 people, according to the lawsuit – “a violent mob of alleged members of a Bloods based in Los Angeles gang.”

The attack “was the result of a complete and abject failure by all of the defendants to implement appropriate security measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the entertainers they invited and hired at their music festival,” the lawsuit said. At a press conference last week, attorneys for the rapper’s family called his death a “targeted murder.”

A spokesperson for Once Upon a Time in Los Angeles, which is owned by Live Nation, said in a statement that the festival “joins family, friends and fans of Drakeo in mourning his loss” and “continues to support local authorities in their investigation as they pursue the facts. The company declined to comment on the lawsuit; the other defendants did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

In recent months, Live Nation has faced criticism over festival security after 10 people were killed in the crowd at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston in November. As dozens of lawsuits against Astroworld continue, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform says it will investigate the festival organizers.

At Once Upon a Time in LA, artists like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Al Green were scheduled to appear on three stages. But the lawsuit argued that given the festival’s setting in South Central Los Angeles (one of the city’s “most dangerous areas”) and the alleged criminal affiliations of some of the performers , it was “highly likely that the music festival would attract a heavy presence of gang activity.

Drakeo, 28, was a rising star in the city’s rap scene who had collaborated with mainstream bands like Drake, but was also targeted by the Bloods, according to the lawsuit. In 2019, he was acquitted of felony murder charges in connection with the murder of a gang member; following a plea deal tied to additional conspiracy charges in the same murder, he was released from prison in November 2020.

“It was widely known to the public that certain members of the Bloods gang had rejected the acquittal and sought to exact ‘street justice’ against Mr. Caldwell in order to avenge their slain member,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit specifically cited the “ongoing public feud” between Drakeo and Los Angeles rapper YG, though it added that “there is no evidence to suggest that YG had anything to do with the events “that led up to Drakeo’s murder. A account of the rapper’s death published in Los Angeles Magazine last month by an eyewitness and member of Drakeo’s entourage also cited YG’s attendance at the festival and raised concerns among Drakeo’s family that the rivalry played a role in the murder.

Representatives for YG said he was not interviewed by police in connection with the incident, but declined to comment further. Los Angeles police have not announced any arrests related to the case and the investigation is continuing.

According to the lawsuit, Drakeo’s entourage of 15 was split into two smaller groups by festival security, due to Covid protocols, leaving the rapper with a personal security guard, who was not not allowed to carry a weapon inside the concert venue.

An initial altercation between Drakeo’s group and several others was followed by dozens of others, “many dressed in red and wearing ski masks”, descending on the rapper, resulting in a “vicious and relentless attack” that left Drakeo with an ultimately lethal one. stabbed in the neck.

The promoters and security personnel “knew or should have known that Mr. Caldwell’s safety was at risk,” the suit said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Lawsuit against Live Nation details murder of Drakeo the Sovereign
Lawsuit against Live Nation details murder of Drakeo the Sovereign
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