Drakeo Ruler, (premature) end of a rapper: stabbed behind the stage of a festival

from Matteo Persivale

He was 28 years old; the reasons for the murder still unknown. Drakeo Ruler, a criminal record and a very complicated life, was a very talented rapper. On the night of the crime he was supposed to perform after Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and 50 Cent

The yellow police tape, “crime scene, don’t cross this line.” Ambulance sirens. The flashing lights. A big bloodstain on the ground in the backstage of what should have been a concert by the great West Coast rappers. Drakeo the Ruler had dedicated his latest album to the telephone company that California prisons exclusively use (at extortion prices for inmates and dividing the proceeds with the local sheriff’s office, but that’s another story) because he had sung – or rather rapped – recording the songs not in the recording room but on the phone, from the cell where he was serving a three-year prison sentence for a shooting in the Compton neighborhood of “gangsta rap”.

Drakeo was, beyond the criminal record and complicated life, one of the most talented rappers expressed in the last twenty years by the Californian talent forge: “was” because he was killed in an ambush the other night just before taking part in a concert (there were many famous names in the lineup, including Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and 50 Cent). He was only 28 years old.

The only surprising fact of rap’s latest violent death, it is sad to note, is the murder weapon: a knife and not the usual pistol or semi-automatic rifle. It suddenly broke out a backstage fight – in a video shot immediately after the stabbing you can see people running on the stage and the security officers trying to calm the spirits – and when the rescuers arrived at the Exposition Park stadium, at 20.40 on Sunday evening, the yesterday dawn in Italy, the boy was already in critical condition. He died shortly after in the hospital. “I come from a neighborhood where people barely survive”, said Drakeo in one of his most famous songs: the neighborhood in question is South LA, “rebranding” of the old South Central which has changed its name but little else. The crime currently has no suspicion – “snitches get stitches», The infamous end up in the hospital (or worse) says the code of honor of the underworld. On those streets he lived (briefly) and on those streets he died, maybe not for a settling of scores as happened to the noble fathers of rap like Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur but for a simple altercation gone wrong, with poor agent Garcia, spokesman for the police, who shows up in front of the TVs explaining that “the investigators are still trying to understand the situation”, and superimposed on the screen and on the website of the Los Angeles Times puts up the Southern Division Investigative Services Unit phone (bad sign).

The California Highway Patrol – the mythological motorized “Chips” of the 1970s show with agent Poncharello – scours the neighborhood but without a tip this too could remain one of the many unsolved crimes that stain rap history with blood. Snoop Dogg was in the dressing room and as soon as he heard of the attack he immediately left the stadium (wisely: at 50 he is one of the veterans, the survivors of a dangerous business). He then tweeted: “My condolences to the family and loved ones of Drakeo the Ruler. Like so many other artists, I was at the concert to spread positive vibes in my hometown of Los Angeles ».

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