Killed rapper Young Dolph left lasting legacy in Memphis

November 19, 2021 10:11 A.M.

By ADRIAN SAINZ Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) – Two days before he was shot while shopping for cookies at his favorite bakery in Memphis, Tennessee, rapper Young Dolph had visited a cancer center where a relative had received treatment.
The 36-year-old man who grew up on the streets of Memphis was in town handing out turkeys at a church and other places before Thanksgiving. He stopped by the West Cancer Center in the Memphis suburb of Germantown on Monday, spending time with clinical staff and thanking them for the compassionate care given to a relative, the center said in a statement.
Round-trip trips like this had become common in his life, which ended on Wednesday when he was shot several times inside Makeda’s Cookies, a popular bakery owned by a black family and known for her delicious butter cookies and banana pudding. The gritty southern town where Young Dolph grew up helped forge the material that fueled his influential career in the hip-hop world – and that’s ultimately where his life was taken from him.
“Our associates were deeply touched by his sincerity and his efforts to express such gratitude,” the cancer center statement said. “During his visit, Dolph explained that he would soon venture out to donate turkeys to the Memphis community at various community centers around the city ahead of Thanksgiving, again a testament to his kind heart.”
Police continued to search for suspects in the murder, which rocked Memphis and shocked the entertainment world as another senseless act of gun violence against an African-American man. Police released photos from surveillance video on Thursday showing two men exiting a white Mercedes-Benz and shooting Young Dolph before fleeing.
Since his assassination, social media has been filled with posts of respect and love for the rapper, whose music was about drug trafficking, street crime and his parents addicted to crack cocaine, as well as the hard-earned lessons. of strength and perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances. His legacy as a fiercely independent artist and businessman is cemented in the world of hip-hop.
His charitable acts galvanized his reputation in Memphis, a city facing poverty, gun violence and disproportionate rates of black incarceration. In 2020, Young Dolph donated $ 25,000 to Hamilton High School for new sports equipment in its alma mater.
Earlier this year, he visited the children on Easter Eve at St. James Baptist Missionary Church. There he met Pastor Rodney Herron, who asked him to return to the modest church to distribute turkeys to families before Thanksgiving.
The rapper happily agreed and planned to hand out the food on Friday. Despite his death, the event will continue, Herron said.
“He’s a nice young man, he was down to earth,” Herron said. “I am distraught, because I knew what the young man was doing for the community, how far he was going to go in the community. … He came back to where his heart was, and he always gave.
Herron said Young Dolph discussed buying a local community center. Herron said he wanted to push the center to rename the hip-hop artist.
The rapper was also scheduled to attend a holiday event for children of parents incarcerated at a church in December, said Tameka Greer, executive director of Memphis Artists for Change.
“Her generosity was limitless,” she said in a statement. “Young Dolph did not deserve to die, nor did the children, youth and adults who lose their lives every day to gun violence.”
Young Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton Jr., began his career distributing CDs on the streets. He went on to release numerous mixtapes, starting with the 2008 “Paper Route Campaign” and several studio albums. He has collaborated with other rappers Key Glock, Megan Thee Stallion, TI, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and others.
“The streets know me, everyone already knows who I am,” he said in a 2014 interview with VICE. “The real respects the real, so if you can make Memphis like you, you’ve got to have something real there. Memphis doesn’t support just anyone.
Like Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed in 2019, Young Dolph has pursued an independent approach to the music business. His label Paper Route Empire retained control over his music.
Fans descended into the cookie shop, where a memorial of balloons and stuffed animals steadily grew outside the store’s boarded up windows. Makeda’s Cookies issued a statement saying its owners are heartbroken over the death of Young Dolph, who recently appeared in an Instagram post promoting the store.
While smoking a cigarette outside the store, Marquize Brand, a 31-year-old Memphis native, said he used to visit the cookie factory when he was little with his grandmother and that he did. still does today. Brand said he was disgusted with the rapper’s murder.
“It’s really bitter that the worst happens, and you’re trying to do your best, with the best of heart,” Brand said. “I’ve heard stories about Dolph’s kindness to people. Why get rid of the right people? “
Associated Press reporters Ryan Pearson in Los Angeles and Joshua Housing in Munster, Indiana, contributed to this report.

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