Young Dolph’s longtime romantic partner Mia Jerline launched the Black Men Deserve to Grow Old campaign through her brand, MOM-E-O. Its social initiative “Respectfully MOM-E-O” was initiated in 2020 after Jerline lost her brother to violent crime. Now, after Dolph’s murder, the brand has seen a surge in support. A new hoodie—featuring the “Get Paid” rapper’s photo along with the campaign’s title—has become a top seller.
According to the official website, the campaign aims to support various families, especially women and children who face hardships and are in need of financial and psychological support.
FOX 13 interviewed brand manager William Miller who shared how Dolph was heavily involved in the initiative while he was alive.
“What Mia wants everybody to know is that Dolph had a huge part in it,” Miller said. “He was funding the whole thing. It was something he cared about as well.”
He continued, “This wasn’t even something I thought could happen, let alone would happen, so dealing with the fact that this campaign is being so successful right now, it’s successful right now in the fact that somebody had to die for it to happen, it doesn’t even feel right. It honestly.. it just saddens me.”
Merchandise featuring the Memphis rapper includes a tribute hoodie, sweater, and sweatshirt come in the colors light blue and navy blue and range in prices between $70-$75 for adults and $30 for youth sizing. Jerline shared a touching post for Young Dolph on the MOM-E-O Instagram page after the tragedy.
“Adolph was a loving and present father. He gave so much to his community and family and he still had so much potential and purpose. Then, in a twinkle of an eye that purpose was snuffed out, due to violent crime,” she wrote. “That’s why we need to end this cycle. Because when we lose our black men, we aren’t just losing a person. We’re losing all the good things they could have done or all the lives they could have affected. We’re losing a son growing up with confidence. We’re losing a daughter growing up with self-esteem. We’re losing a wife’s eternal happiness.”
Young Dolph, born Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr. was gunned down on Nov. 17 at the age of 36 during a shooting at local bakery Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies. Since the shooting, the Black-owned business has also seen a surge in local and national support.
According to Memphis television station, WREG, the bakery re-opened its downtown location five days after the crime. The Airways location, where the shooting happened, was damaged by gunfire and will remain closed through the end of this year.
Makeda’s has revealed they will rename their chocolate chip cookie after Young Dolph as it was his favorite sugary treat.
“That was one thing that Dolph did, [he] use to say when you get off the expressway. He was like, ‘I can smell y’all. I’m getting off the expressway. I had to come in,’” said Raven Winton, Makeda’s Cookies operations manager. “We know that the city is in mourning, and we don’t want to stop that.”
Watch a video introducing the Black Men Deserve To Grow Old campaign below.