A Letter To Drakeo

On what would have been his 29th birthday, Rosecrans Vic writes a letter celebrating his achievements, honoring his legacy, and lamenting his absence.
By    December 1, 2022

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Rosecrans Vic loves being a joint, it’s fantastic. 

December 23rd, 2021

Drakeo, from the start, it was an honor to cover you and your music. When I first heard your music, I didn’t understand it. The slang, the low octave voice raps, how you chose to suffocate the beats with alliteration and unfathomable rhyme schemes, the endless games of lingo bingo you played with listeners, I felt like an outsider and I was. We’re both from LA, but you were Mr. LA (until you decided you would become Mr. Everything). I kept hearing your name(s), I wanted to understand what it was about you that had the city in a frenzy and Mustard in a rush to cosign you.

I first wrote about you in October of 2015. I didn’t understand it yet, but I knew I would be sorry if I didn’t post about your new mixtape. I Am Mr. Mosely had just dropped. “Mr. Get Dough” had been remixed by Mustard, and I knew I needed to become more familiar. So I began digging. I saw an interview you did with Gina Views, outside of your birthday party, throwing hundreds on the floor while you kept saying everything you were doing was regular.

I began listening to your music to not feel like an outsider anymore. I wanted to be in the in-crowd. I always wished I was at the “Domino Effekt” music video shoot, which would later become an unimaginable collaboration between Sean Mackk, Rucci, AzSwaye of the AzCult and you. I did an album review of “Cold Devil” for P.O.W. in early 2018 and it was the first time I was universally revered for my writing. No better feeling than when you posted it on your Instagram and Picasso your A&R and manager at the time said, “wow shout out @Rosecrans Vic that was the most amazing write up I’ve read on Drakeo.”

When I finally got to interview you I felt such a sense of accomplishment, no one could tell me shit now. The coolest part is that it was with Gina as my co host, I was finally, officially part of the in-crowd I had longed to be in six years before, I was officially a joint. We sat down to do the interview Monday January 11th, 2021, exactly three years after my “Cold Devil” album review.

I’ll forever be haunted by that nightmare at Once Upon A Time in LA.  I was with seven people from the media team – four of which decided to stay and go say hi to Snoop Dogg backstage. The other four of us headed for the exit to go home after a long day of work. Literally seconds after I walked out of Once Upon a Time In LA’s festival grounds and put two feet on the adjacent sidewalk, we all receive a group text from a person who opted to stay behind. The text read, “I think Drakeo died”. Me, stricken with grief, immediately called Jeff Weiss who I knew was with him to confirm if it was true or not; he answered the phone horrified, and all he could say was “they got him”. I didn’t know what to do, so I ran to my car and sped home to be with my family.

February 15th, 2022

The day has sadly, finally arrived. It’s been 55 days since you passed and it still doesn’t feel real at all. I’ve never been to a joint’s funeral before, so I wasn’t sure how to dress. I strongly considered throwing on my best fit, like really putting that shit on, as Desto suggested, but I opted not to. I respect those that did, but because of my upbringing, anything but wearing all black would feel disrespectful to me personally. I wasn’t sure what to expect, the funeral was in Lynwood, which isn’t the safest area, but certainly not unfamiliar territory for me. I was nervous though and couldn’t lie and say it didn’t cross my mind that something bad could happen during the services, partly because after your death, I had a hard time imagining any place was sacred or off limits when it came to wanting to do harm to someone. I chose to go anyway.

When I arrived, I saw multiple armed security with rifles standing right in front of the church. I know they probably weren’t, but I pretended they were armed with Draco’s. What was also right in front was about eight Rolls Royces parked back to back to back to back. I was under the impression this was a private service, but saw that many fans had caught wind of the information and were there to pay their respects. I saw Jeff Weiss and your lawyer Mr. John Hamasaki, standing out front. I thought about how I’d never been sadder to see them. I hadn’t seen either since the three of us got together a few days after your passing to wallow and theorize about your tragic passing. I felt the same feeling when running into other writers, the members of Hit-Mob, the Stincs and of course Ralfy, I hated seeing them under these circumstances.

I took my seat in the third row on the right side. I decided I wouldn’t film anything in there out of respect for you and the sanctity of the occasion. The service was not the type of funeral I was used to – it was much more in fact a celebration of your life. A singer who was related to you, sang a beautiful song in your honor to open up the proceedings. That was then followed by people speaking on your behalf, sharing incredible stories about you growing up. The one that stuck out the most to me was a lady from your neighborhood that used to watch you and Ralfy growing up telling a story about you eating her ruffles and drinking her soda, then refilling the soda with water. The thought of you pouring a whole 20 of water in the soda bottle was way too funny to not bring a temporary smile to my face.

Desto stepped to the podium, you’d be pleased to know, he put that shit on with big black shades on to hide the pain in his eyes. I loved what he said about you, it wasn’t rehearsed, he just spoke from the heart. To sum up what he said he basically said we should all be fearless like you were. I also loved his anecdote about your guys brotherhood, being broke together and becoming millionaires each now with your own offspring being rich kids because of your hard work. LA’s best rapper was best friends with LA’s best designer. It was a beautiful thing to witness in real time and will probably never happen again.

Next up, an extremely well dressed pastor, who had that shit on, but in his own formal way. I was curious what his level of familiarity with you was, I hoped he didn’t give some bland sermon about nothing. What he ended up doing was giving an outstanding speech that ranged from speaking on violence in Black and Brown communities, to fathers being taken out of homes affecting young boys and more. The band started playing, slowly composing a song one instrument at a time as the pastor went on to ask the attendees a rhetorical question about what we should tell haters, then he broke out in a full performance of your song “Too Icy” as the live band rocked the house.

As asinine a sentence as it is, I can confidently say it was the best funeral I’ve ever been to. Another intrusive thought entered my mind, how badly I wished you could release just one more song about your celebration of life, it would’ve been amazing, referencing the security armed with Draco’s, the pastor performing, Desto being dripped down, the Rolls Royce motorcade, how expensive your casket was, how you were buried in Hollywood with the stars and some sort of other flexes.

November 8th, 2022

Nas and Hit-Boy just released their new project “King’s Disease 3” and Nas shouted you out bro. He said, “just like Drakeo The Ruler, my n**** we know the truth. One of the greatest rappers of all time acknowledging the truth was so vindicating for fans like me. Nas knows the truth, Hit-Boy knows the truth, now plenty more people will discover it. A few days ago Rolling Loud’s talent buyer contacted me and asked me if it was a good idea to put Ralfy on the Rolling Loud lineup, I strongly vouched for him and told him about all the things Ralfy has accomplished this year in your absence, he’s probably dropped more music and videos than anyone in LA and possibly the entire rap game. After I created a group message between Ralfy, his manager and the talent buyer and some negotiations, Ralfy was booked to perform at Rolling Loud California 2023. You would be so proud.

December 1st, 2022

Happy Birthday Bro. It’s nearly been a year since your passing, and your last Instagram story post has been on my mind. You typed “A Star Is Born” in white lettering against a black background. I get the chills every time I think about it. You being such a prolific writer, in the truest sense of the word, I know you wrote things with a purpose. I try to rack my brain about what you meant by that and how eerie it was that now the entire world knew your name because of how tragic a story it was for you to be killed as you were about to hit the stage to perform. It makes me wonder if you knew what was possibly awaiting you and how knowing you, it was impossible for you to retreat or back down no matter the circumstances.

I think about how in the bible Isiah 46:10 says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”. You must’ve known the truth all along and I will do my best to never let people forget it.

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