Young Dolph, popular Memphis rapper, fatally shot at 36
Young Dolph, the popular Memphis-based rapper who collaborated with artists including O.T. Genasis and Megan Thee Stallion, was shot and killed in his hometown Wednesday. He was 36.
The fatal shooting occurred at Makeda's Butter Cookies, local Fox affiliate WHBQ and CBS affiliate WREG reported. Maurice Hill, the owner of the bakery, told FOX13 that his employees said Dolph (born Adolph Robert Thornton Jr.) was buying cookies when an unknown assailant drove up and shot him.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said, "On November 17, 2021, at 12:24 pm, Memphis Police Officers responded to the scene of a shooting at 2370 Airways. One male victim was located and was pronounced dead at the scene. No suspect info is available at this time."
He continued: "The preliminary information indicates that the victim is Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. However, this information will be confirmed once the identification process has been completed."
Dolph was an emerging star in the music world. Having started releasing mixtapes in 2008, he first saw chart success featuring on O.T. Genasis' double-platinum single "Cut It."
Beginning with Dolph's debut album, 2016's King of Memphis, all seven of his studio albums charted in the top 50 of Billboard's Hot 200 list.
Most recently, Dolph teamed up with protege Key Glock to release two collaborative albums, Dum and Dummer and Dum and Dummer 2. He also collaborated with rap superstars like Megan Thee Stallion, on his song "RNB."
In 2017, Dolph survived multiple gunshot wounds after being attacked outside the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, an argument between Dolph and three men escalated into the shooting.
"I've been targeted since I was 17, 18, 19," Dolph told The Guardian regarding the incident in a 2018 interview. "I just knew that I was good," he said, adding that wasn't "a person that lives in fear."
The rapper was unharmed in another shooting earlier that year when his SUV was fired upon multiple times in Charlotte, N.C. Fellow Memphis rapper Blac Youngsta and two others later turned themselves in to the police.
In an interview with GQ last year, Dolph said he'd been enjoying spending more time with his two young children while quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his family members were also the founders of the IdaMae Family Foundation, a local nonprofit named after his grandmother that aims to better the local community.
Reacting to the news of Dolph's death, Megan The Stallion tweeted, "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."
Rapper Gucci Mane, who frequently collaborated with Dolph over the years, also offered his condolences, saying "R. I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart."
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland also lamented Dolph's death, tweeting, "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."