Young Dolph Dead At 36
Young Dolph, one of the most popular and successful rappers to ever emerge out of Memphis, has been shot and killed. Law enforcement sources confirm to FOX 13 that Dolph, born Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., was the victim of a deadly shooting at Makeda’s Butter Cookies this afternoon. Makeda’s owner Maurice Hill told reporters that someone drove up and shot Dolph while he was in the shop buying cookies. He was 36 years old.
Dolph, born Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., was born in Chicago and raised mostly in Memphis. He came up on the Memphis underground and released his debut mixtape Paper Route Campaign in 2008. By 2013, Dolph was a big enough name that he and Gucci Mane released a collaborative mixtape. In 2016, Dolph released King Of Memphis, his first studio album. Since then, he’s kept up a steady stream of music. Earlier this year, Dolph and his cousin, the rising Memphis star Key Glock released the collaborative album Dum And Dummer 2.
Dolph always rapped in a booming, authoritative, no-nonsense style. He was slick and funny, and he recalled earlier generations of street-rap. Dolph never had much use for Auto-Tune or melody. In his persona, he combined toughness with a taunting sense of humor. While Dolph never had a big chart hit, he was a hugely popular figure, especially in the Southeast. (“Cut It,” an OT Genasis track with a Dolph guest verse, was a chart hit in 2015; that was Dolph’s only appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.) In 2018, after a Duke University vice president had two baristas fired for listening to Dolph’s music in a campus coffee shop, Dolph brought both ex-baristas onstage at one of his shows and handed each of them $20,000.
Dolph had many brushes with violence in the past, and he made that a key component of his public image. Dolph maintained a long-simmering feud with fellow Memphis rappers Yo Gotti and Blac Youngsta, and many of his biggest songs were addressed directly at Gotti and his allies. In 2017, someone fired 100 bullets at Dolph’s car. He was unhurt, and he still performed that night. Soon afterward, he released his single “100 Shots” in response. Later that year, Dolph was shot in Los Angeles, and he announced his next album while leaving the hospital.
Below, listen to some of Dolph’s music.