Adolph Robert Thorton Jr., known professionally as Young Dolph, was “shot Wednesday inside beloved local store Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee,” authorities said.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis confirmed that the rapper behind albums like “Rich Slave,” died in a fatal shooting at the age of 36.
“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”, Davis said.
While it is too early to know the motivation behind the killing, two potential suspects have been identified through CCTV footage. The pair were wearing face masks, gray sweatpants, and dark hoodies.
Young Dolph’s cousin, Mareno Myers, told a local newspaper that the 36-year-old rapper came to town on Monday to visit an aunt who has cancer and planned to hand out turkeys at St. James Missionary Baptist Church on Friday between 2-5 p.m.
Similarly, the Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was also fatally shot in a senseless killing in 2019, Young Dolph pursued an independent approach to the music business. He created his label, Paper Route Empire, which retained control over his music. “I just got another vision for it — strictly 100 percent ownership,” he said in a 2018 mini-documentary co-produced by his label, titled “Turned Dirt into Diamonds.” “A lot of people, they can’t see what I see.”
Raised by his grandmother, after relocating from Chicago when he was 2, the “King of Memphis” rapper tried to help his parents clean their life up once he found success.
Like Fifty Cent, Young Dolph survived previous shootings. In September 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel, he was shot multiple times. The song “100 Shots” was inspired by these real-life events. According to The Commercial Appeal, he said he survived because he had bulletproof panels in his vehicle.
“God bless Dolph 🕊 independent Memphis rapper born in Chicago. Loved by millions of ppl,” Chance the Rapper tweeted. “Always showed love every time I saw him. This is tragic. God bless his family man.”
Juice WRLD, whose real name is Jared Anthony Higgins was Young Dolph’s cousin who also died tragically in a fatal shooting on December 8, 2019.