Popular Memphis-based rapper, Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., known as Young Dolph lost his life earlier today in a fatal shooting in Memphis, Tennessee in what is now being suspected as a premeditated cold-blooded murder.
According to Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, the incident took place outside Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies in Memphis where the rapper was buying cookies. A car drove up to the front and someone just rolled down the window, shot him and sped away. No suspect has been taken in from the scene for questioning and Davis added that even the motivation for the murder was not yet known or unravelled.
“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.
This is not the first time that the rapper has been targeted or an attempt has been made on his life. The Chicago native grew up in Memphis and adopted the nickname Young Dolph as he released his debut album, “King of Memphis” in 2016. He went on to have several hits, including “Blue Diamonds,” and “RNB” featuring Megan Thee Stallion. His fifth studio album, 2020’s “Rich Slave,” rose to No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. His music or rather rapping lyrics did strike a sensitive chord among few and antagonised others. In 2017, he was nearly killed in a shooting incident in Hollywood after sustaining three gunshot wounds and spent weeks in the hospital.
“I’ve been targeted since I was 17, 18, 19,” Young Dolph told The Guardian about the incident in a 2018 interview. “I just knew that I was good,” and added that he wasn’t “a person that lives in fear.”
Eminent Memphis city personalities and rap gods took to social media to express their distress at his death and share solidarity with his grieving family and fans. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland tweeted Young Dolph’s death “serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” Local city leaders also called for a city wide curfew in case retribution acts follow.
“All of us at APA are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and client, Young Dolph,” a representative of the management company said in a statement to Variety. “The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon. His dedication, drive, hard work and loyalty to all those around him always came first and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this most difficult time. “
Davis added investigation is ongoing regarding the killing of the rapper, but this should be taken as a yet another instance of senseless gun violence and shooting, intolerance and lawlessness that has reared its head over the city of Memphis over the years.
“We are committed to working with the community to stop the senseless murders,” Davis said. “We’re also dedicated to bringing those responsible for today’s shooting and others to justice.”
Dolph is survived by his wife and two daughters.