Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. Well recognized by his stage name Young Dolph is an American rapper producer and recording artist with a net worth of $3 million at the time of his death. He was born July 27 in 1985 – November 17 in 2021. He released his debut studio album in 2016 titled King of Memphis which ranked at number 49 on the Billboard 200 chart.
He was featured on O.T. Genasis’s hit single titled “Cut It”, which peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Young Dolph’s seventh album titled Rich Slave was released in 2020 and became his highest-charting project which was debuting at number four on the Billboard 200. He was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee on 17 November 2021.
Young Dolph Early life
Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. was born into the world on 27 July 1985 in a popular place called Chicago in Illinois. When he was young at the age of two years old his family relocate to Memphis in Tennessee. He had four siblings which are two sisters and two brothers; he and that famous rapper Juice Word were second cousins. Thornton was brought up by his grandmother; his parents going through addictions to crack cocaine and as a child he would only see them every few weeks.
Thornton said that in the community he was from in South Memphis while other of his friends were raised by their grandmothers due to the issues experienced by their parents.
He described initially recognizing his grandmother as “the meanest motherfucker in the world”, explaining “I didn’t get that shit at the time. … All the shit she was telling you, you get to seeing that shit when you hit about 15”, saying that when he approached that age he started utilizing her teachings throughout his life to be more independent.
His grandmother often did not allow Thornton to have friends visit their home but some times she allow homeless friends stay with the family. Thornton attended Hamilton High School as teenager.
Young Dolph Career
Young Dolph first mixtape Paper Route Campaign was released in 2008. After two years, he established his label Paper Route Empire in 2010 while an independent record label not affiliated with a major record label and subsequently released Welcome 2 Dolph World at the same year.
Alongside With the release of mixtapes High Class Street Music and High Class Street Music Episode 2 in 2011, Young Dolph started to develop his own rap flow while shifting away from a style similar to Memphis rappers Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball & MJG instead to a personal style described as “vociferous” with a “magnetic delivery and uniquely deep voice”. Young Dolph’s increasing popularity lead him to Memphis rapper Yo Gotti which offered him a record deal with Yo Gotti’s Collective Music Group label (affiliated with Epic Records) in August 2014 but Young Dolph later declined preferring to remain independent.
Young Dolph was featured on O.T. Genasis’s double platinum hit single titled “Cut It” in 2016. He released his own debut album King of Memphis under his independent Paper Route Empire label, which peaked at number 49 on the Billboard 200 later that same year.
Other Memphis rappers which includes Yo Gotti and Gotti-affiliated Blac Youngsta took offense at the album title with Blac Youngsta leading an armed group attempting to find Young Dolph in Memphis and releasing a diss track titled “SHAKE SUM (Young Dolph Diss)” in response.
Young Dolph released a diss track against Yo Gotti titled “Play Wit Yo’ Bitch”, quickly follow to the release of Yo Gotti to release a response song in the following year. After two week, Young Dolph released a music video which is titled “Play Wit Yo’ Bitch”; the next day, his own vehicle was the target of gunfire in Charlotte, North Carolina, while in town for a performance at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament in February, 2017.
His car was reportedly shot over 100 times but was outfitted with bulletproof panels, and no one was hurt. After the shooting, Blac Youngsta with two other men were arrested but the charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence. Young Dolph used the publicity from the shooting to promote his second studio album titled Bulletproof. He was shot multiple times in September in that same year. As of February in 2018, he released the extended play Niggas Get Shot Everyday, referencing this prior incident.
Young Dolph Posthumous Releases
A posthumous tribute album titled Long Live Young Dolph was declared on January 10 in 2022 and was officially released on January 21 in 2022, through Paper Route Empire.
This was preceded by the release of the single “LLD (Long Live Dolph)”. The collection of the album contains guest appearances from PRE associates: Key Glock, Big Moochie Grape, Kenny Muney, Jay Fizzle, Joddy Badass, Snupe Bandz, Paper Route Woo and Chitana.
A posthumous album from Dolph which was titled Paper Route Frank, also set for release sometime in 2022.
Young Dolph Personal life
Thornton had two kids which are: Tre Tre and Aria, with his partner, Mia Jaye. He made it in his statement that he was somewhat strict with his parenting due to his upbringing with his grandmother. Thornton often collaborated with his cousin and fellow rapper Key Glock and was a distant relative of the rapper and singer Juice Wrld, learning of the familial relation with the latter in 2017.
Thornton was shot outside a retail store in Hollywood in Los Angeles on September 26 in 2017. He was in critical condition at the hospital; but within a few hours, doctors reported he was expected to survive. He spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from three gunshot wounds. Yo Gotti was initially named a person of interest moments after the shooting but was later announced. Although, Yo Gotti’s friend, Corey McClendon was arrested for attempted murder only to be released the next day with no charges.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Thornton started to stay with his family in Memphis more frequently and did so amid rumors of retirement. He was known in the area for his philanthropy by donating $25,000 to his alma mater, Hamilton High School and providing motivational speeches to students which was Known for handing out Thanksgiving dinners, Thornton gave away two hundred turkeys to people at the West Cancer Center days before his death and was scheduled to donate additional meals days after.
Young Dolph Death
Thornton was fatally shot in Memphis while picking up cookies for his mother at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies which is a bakery he frequently visited whenever he was back home on 17 December in 2021.
He was gundown by two gunmen alighted from a white two-door Mercedes-Benz. It was later revealed in an autopsy that Thornton was shot multiple time (22 times). Crowds of hundreds of people swarmed the scene of Thornton’s death for hours; police did not allow individuals to enter the area while they investigated. Tennessee House Representative London Lamar and Memphis councilman J. B. Smiley reacted by calling for a curfew in Memphis to prevent civil unrest and violence.
Young Dolph was laid to rest on Tuesday, November 30 in 2021. A service was held at First Baptist Church Broad Street. The family’s caravan of black SUVs was escorted by security and Memphis Police to the cemetery across from Hamilton High School, Young Dolph’s alma mater.
Police identified one of the suspects responsible for the murder as 23-year-old Justin Johnson, and issued a first-degree murder warrant on 5 January 2022. A reward of up to $15,000 for information on the suspect was offered by the Tennessee authorities. Johnson had an established history of criminal charges and violence, as well as “ties to organized criminal gangs,” and was a rapper under the name Straight Drop.
Another suspect of 32-year-old Cornelius Smith (who was previously arrested for theft of the car used in Dolph’s murder), was indicted on first-degree murder, weapons possession, and theft charges on January 11, that same day, Johnson was captured by police in Indiana after law enforcement received over 500 tips leading to his arrest of the 27-year-old Shundale Barnett, a passenger of the vehicle Johnson was driving, was also arrested.
As of January 12, Johnson and Smith were indicted on first-degree murder and other criminal charges while Barnett was charged with being an “after-the-fact accessory.” After Johnson and Smith struggled to find legal representation, they were given an ultimatum by Judge Lee Coffee: “If you have a lawyer hired, that’s fine, but as I told you 10 days ago, I cannot allow you to sit in jail week after week, month after month, without a lawyer. … If you don’t have a lawyer hired on (February 4), I’m going to hire a private attorney to represent both of you all.
As of 7th of February , Johnson appeared in court again for “violating a sex offender registration charge” after reportedly being convicted of aggravated rape in 2015; he also claimed he was unable to afford to hire an attorney. On February 11, both Johnson and Smith pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Young Dolph Legacy
The city of Memphis approved street-renaming for a street in the honor of Thornton. The street was changed to Adolph “Young Dolph” Thornton Jr. Avenue, which is located on the intersection of Dunn Avenue and Airways Boulevard, just east of Castilia Heights (where Dolph was raised) and not too far from where Dolph was killed.
In February 2022, two Tennessee lawmakers (Representative Torrey C. Harris and former Senator Katrina Robinson) proposed a bill which would make November 17 – the day on which Dolph was killed – the “Adolph Thornton Day of Service.” The bill listed several of Dolph’s acts of philanthropy and described him as “an exemplary gentleman and consummate professional who worked assiduously to improve the quality of life for his fellow citizens in numerous capacities”; it also stated the holiday’s goal is to “celebrate the memory, music, and community service contributions of [Dolph] and to encourage Tennesseans to help others.”