Police in Memphis are searching for the suspects in the murder of Young Dolph
Memphis, Tenn. Police scoured Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday as they searched for suspects in the murder of influential rapper Young Dolph at a popular local donut shop, a shooting that sparked shocking and heartbreaking reactions from the music world and throughout his hometown.
Few details emerged about the shooting of the 36-year-old rapper Wednesday at Makeda’s Cookie’s, a well-known bakery not far from the Memphis airport. Police have not released suspicious information or a possible motive for the shooting of Young Dolph, who was inside the store when he was shot.
A crowd of fiercely independent rapper supporters descended on the cake shop after the shooting, and the business took off late Wednesday. Police called on the public to remain calm and local leaders called for a curfew on Wednesday evening for fear of reprisal violence. No curfew was issued.
At a news conference Wednesday night, Memphis Police Chief Cereline “CJ” Davis did not say whether police believed the other shootings under investigation were related to the rapper’s death.
Young Dolph in Memphis has been doing charity work, including visiting a cancer treatment center and serving turkeys at church before Thanksgiving. He had recently given a concert at the University of Memphis. The rapper had loyal fans in Memphis, who admired him for his success and love of the city. Some fans cried as they gathered outside the bakery.
In a letter calling for a curfew on Wednesday, Memphis City Council member JB Smiley called the shooting an act of “unreasonable violence.”
“We’ve lost a talented mum and a star known throughout this country,” wrote Smiley, a Democrat running for governor of Tennessee. I am tired of making statements that talk about or highlight crime in our societies.
Like Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was murdered in 2019, Young Dolph has taken an independent approach to music. The Paper Route Empire label has retained control over his music. “I just got another vision for it – 100% exclusive ownership,” he said in a 2018 mini-documentary co-produced by his brand, Turned Dirt Into Diamonds. “A lot of people, they can’t see what I see.”
“God bless Dolph,” Chance the Rapper tweeted. “The real independent Memphis rapper was born in Chicago. loved by millions of people.”
Born in Chicago as Adolph Thornton Jr., Young Dolph moved to Memphis as a young child, according to The Commercial Appeal. He said in the documentary that he was raised by his grandmother and tried to help his parents “clean up their lives” once he succeeded.
He has released several mixtapes, starting with 2008’s “Paper Route Campaign” and multiple studio albums, including his 2016 debut titled “King of Memphis”. He has also collaborated on producing other songs and albums with other rappers Key Glock, Megan Thee Stallion, T.I., Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, and others.
Young Dolph has had three albums that reached the top ten on the Billboard 200, with 2020’s “Rich Slave” taking number four.
In his music, Young Dolph criticized for being a drug dealer and life on the streets of Memphis. He considered himself a workaholic and in recent years has focused on growing his business.
“I’m a CEO first, then an artist,” he told writer Gary Suarez in a 2020 Forbes interview, saying he had strategically pulled off signing with a major company. “As long as I keep going up and keep working, my value will increase.”
“I know what the streets want to hear, I know what the street is going through, the language, the fashion, everything. Nothing. It’s my real life,” he told Suarez.
Young Dolph has survived a previous shooting. He was shot multiple times in September 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel. In February of that year, his SUV in Charlotte, North Carolina, was shot more than 100 times. The incident served as the inspiration for the song “100 Shots”. The Commercial Appeal reports that he said he survived because his car had flak plates on it.
Memphis officials, athletes, and several members of the music industry have posted their condolences on social media.
Gucci Mane posted on Twitter: “This broke my heart for my friend Dolph.”
The rapper’s talent agency, APA, said it was shocked and saddened by his death.
“The world has lost an icon, a great man and a beloved artist who was captured so early,” the agency said in a statement. “His dedication, drive, hard work and loyalty to all those around him have always come first and will be sorely missed.”
In a tweet, 2 Chainz said he loves Young Dolph.
‘I appreciate you gone,’ said he, ‘Miss Dolph.’
Pearson reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Joshua Eskaning in Monster, Indiana, contributed to this report.
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