“All of us at APA are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and client, Young Dolph,” an APA representative 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. “
The shooting took place at Makeda’s Homemade Cookies in South Memphis on Wednesday afternoon, local station FOX News 13 reported. The owner of the store told the outlet that Young Dolph walked in to buy cookies when someone drove up, shot and killed him around 1 p.m.
Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., was born in Chicago but moved to Memphis at a young age. He was the cousin of rapper Juice Wrld, who died at 21 of a drug overdose at Chicago’s Midway International Airport on December 8, 2019.
Making his studio album debut, Young Dolph released “King of Memphis” in 2016, which reached No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He dropped seven albums from 2016 to 2021, the most recent being “Dum and Dummer 2” with Key Glock, which peaked at No. 8. He was signed to Paper Route Empire, and his most successful album was 2020’s “Rich Slave,” which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and was his highest-charting release. From 2008 to 2017, he dropped more than a dozen mixtapes and EPs.
In September 2017, Young Dolph was shot outside a retail store in Hollywood and hospitalized in critical condition. He spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from three gunshot wounds. Released prior to the shooting, his April 2017 album “Bulletproof” secretly spelled out a message through the track listings (“100 Shots,” “In Charlotte,” “But I’m Bulletproof,” “So Fuk’em,” “That’s How I Feel).
Young Dolph was well known in the Memphis area and donated turkeys around Thanksgiving time, donated to Hamilton High School, which he attended, and spoke to students. He was in Memphis participating in local charity work for Thanksgiving at the time of the shooting. In 2018, he made headlines for donating $20,000 to two baristas at Duke University who were fired for playing his song “Get Paid.” He also flew the two out to see his performance at the Rolling Loud music festival.
Following the news of his death, tributes for Young Dolph poured in on social media from fans and fellow artists.
R. I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart
— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) November 17, 2021
God bless Dolph 🕊 Real independent Memphis rapper born in chicago. loved by millions of ppl. Always showed love everytime I seen him this is tragic God bless his family man
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) November 17, 2021
Damn man, me and Dolph used to be next door neighbors. Smh. RIP DOLPH.
— concrete boy boat (@lilyachty) November 17, 2021
Damn R.I.P DOLPH PRAYER FOR YA KIDS AND FAMILY SMH
— OFFSET (@OffsetYRN) November 17, 2021
LONG LIVE DOLPH
Only person to ever pull up to the cave with a fleet of cars and made sure to shake every single persons hand he met. Legendary artist and person.
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) November 17, 2021
— Aminé (@heyamine) November 17, 2021