Young Dolph, a popular Memphis rapper has died at the age of 36. Born Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., he was gunned down on Wednesday (Nov. 17) in his hometown at a local bakery. According to CNN, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis confirmed the rapper was fatally shot by a drive-by assailant while at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies. Currently, there are no suspects or confirmed motives for the crime.
“This shooting is another example of the senseless gun violence we are experiencing locally and nationwide. Our hearts go out to the Thornton family and all who are affected by this horrific act of violence,” expressed Davis.
“The tragic shooting death of rap artist Young Dolph serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” shared Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland on Twitter.
After the shooting occurred, officers increased their presence in areas of Memphis with alleged ties to Young Dolph or directly impacted by the incident. The police chief encouraged citizens to remain indoors and allow them to solve the murder. Local community leaders hoped that a city-wide curfew would be initiated in the wake of Young Dolph’s violent death.
“Tonight we strongly encourage everyone to stay home if you do not have to be out,” said Davis. “We also strongly encourage everyone to remain calm as we actively perform our investigation.”
Young Dolph was born on July 27, 1985, in Chicago before his family moved to Memphis where he grew up. Releasing mixtapes since 2008, the rapper solidified his status with the album King Of Memphis in 2016, which featured songs such as “Get Paid” and “Let Me See It,” peaking at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 chart. As his success widened, Young Dolph established himself as one of Hip-Hop’s premier artists, able to entertain with comical punchlines, outrageously baller claims, and a businessman at Paper Route Entertainment, an independent record label. Outside of the music, Young Dolph was recognized for his philanthropic efforts, giving back to his community and fans nationwide.
In February 2017, roughly 100 bullets were fired at the “Preach” rappers’ vehicle while he was in Charlotte, N.C. for CIAA Weekend. Young Dolph was uninjured and inspired to create the album Bulletproof. In September of the same year, he was critically injured after being shot multiple times in Los Angeles. Weeks later, he exited the hospital and announced the album Thinking Out Loud.
His most recent releases include Dum And Dummer 2, a collaborative album with his cousin, fellow Memphis rapper Key Glock issued in March, and the PAPER ROUTE iLLUMINATi compilation project led by Young Dolph featuring PRE artists issued in July.
Young Dolph is survived by his longtime partner Mia Jaye and their two young children.
VIBE sends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Young Dolph.
Many of Young Dolph’s peers and collaborators shared messages of grief and condolences on social media. Take a look at some of them below.
R. I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart
— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) November 17, 2021
God bless Dolph ? Real independent Memphis rapper born in chicago. loved by millions of ppl. Always showed love everytime I seen him this is tragic God bless his family man
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) November 17, 2021
RIP DOLPH ??????
— Yung Rénzél ? (@RickRoss) November 17, 2021
— P (@qcm_p) November 17, 2021
Damn R.I.P DOLPH PRAYER FOR YA KIDS AND FAMILY SMH
— OFFSET (@OffsetYRN) November 17, 2021
Rest In Peace Young Dolph ? praying for your family and friends.
— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 17, 2021
LONG LIVE DOLPH
Only person to ever pull up to the cave with a fleet of cars and made sure to shake every single persons hand he met. Legendary artist and person.
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) November 17, 2021
I am sooo sick rn I am in disbelief! Praying for his family and friends ! Rest In Peace to my friend a true legend dolph ??
— TINA SNOW (@theestallion) November 17, 2021
Shit so sad man everybody loved dolph ?
— Da Prettiest (@AsianDaBrattt) November 17, 2021