Once Upon a Time in LA… Everything Went Wrong: Immediately after Al Green’s set, it was clear that something wasn’t right at Saturday’s Once Upon a Time in LA festival. It all happened so fast; we had watched the first three songs of Green’s set, then dashed off to watch some other performers before Snoop’s set. Our plan was to watch a chunk of Snoop, then go back to the G-Funk Stage to watch Drakeo the Ruler.
We returned to the Once Upon a Time Stage in time to see Green wrap up and then, as was the norm all day, the stage revolved and Snoop’s name started flashing in lights. But the minutes rolled on, and then Snoop’s name stopped flashing in lights. The internet on our iPhone was slow-to-nonexistent, so we had no idea what was going on and simply assumed that Snoop was late. Then the police helicopter started circling.
With a spotlight aimed directly at the crowd, it was clear that they were looking for something or someone. And as 8:30 became 9:30 and then 10:00, it also became clear that nobody was getting on the stage. There was nothing in the way of an announcement from the stage, so many of us were left guessing.
It was only when we exited the event that we learned that L.A. rapper Drakeo the Ruler had been stabbed during an altercation. We went to bed hopeful, reading mixed reports but many claiming that he was stable in hospital. We woke up this morning to reports that he has died.
The LA Times wrote that the rapper, born Darrell Caldwell, was “attacked by a group of people at the music festival,” and “later died from his injuries.”
It’s frankly heartbreaking that we’ve lost a great young artist as his career was just getting going. And of course after that, nothing else mattered. It didn’t matter that Snoop, YG and 50 Cent, plus a number of other artists on the other stages, didn’t perform.
Event organizers released a statement saying, “There was an altercation in the roadway backstage. Out of respect for those involved and in coordination with local authorities, artists and organizers decided not to move forward with remaining sets so the festival was ended an hour early.”
It didn’t matter how good the performances from the many artists, young and old, had been all day. Ice Cube had earlier hoped from the stage that the LAPD would have a quiet evening, and he closed his set with “It was a Good Day.” Tragically, he was horribly wrong on both counts.
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