Search for shooter underway after 36-year-old rapper Young Dolph killed in Memphis, Tennessee

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Thursday, November 18, 2021
Young Dolph shot and killed at cookie shop in his hometown
The 36-year-old rapper from Memphis had chart-topping hits and features, including "Cut It" and "RNB" with Megan Thee Stallion.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- Rapper Young Dolph, who has appeared on a number of hits with fellow entertainers like Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Baby, has died in a shooting Wednesday at a cookie shop in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, prompting a search for a shooter.

Police tweeted that no suspect information was available in the shooting, which took place at Makeda's Cookie's near Memphis International Airport.

"The tragic shooting death of rap artist Young Dolph serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

The Daily Memphian newspaper reported that Young Dolph's cousin, Mareno Myers, said the rapper had been in town since Monday visiting an aunt who has cancer and was also giving out Thanksgiving turkeys.

"He was inside (Makeda's), and somebody just rolled up on him and took his life," Myers said.

Just last week, the cookie shop posted a video on Instagram of the rapper promoting the store's cookies, saying he returns to the store whenever he is in Memphis.

The 36-year-old rapper was born in Chicago as Adolph Thornton Jr., and moved to Memphis when he was 2, according to The Commercial Appeal.

After years of mixtape releases, the rapper's career on the mainstream took off in 2015 when he appeared on O.T. Genasis' hit "Cut It". Shortly after, Young Dolph released in 2016 his debut studio album, "King of Memphis".

Last year, his sixth album, "Rich Slave", debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.

In his music, Young Dolph rapped about being a drug dealer and life on the streets in Memphis. He recently performed at a concert at the University of Memphis and he has performed during the halftime of a Memphis Grizzlies game. He was admired in Memphis as a torchbearer to the city's rap legends, Three 6 Mafia.

Young Dolph had survived previous shootings. He was shot multiple times in September 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel. In February of that year, his SUV was shot at in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than 100 times - the incident was the inspiration for the song "100 Shots." He said he survived because he had bulletproof panels in his vehicle, The Commercial Appeal reported.

Tragically, the rapper lost his cousin, fellow entertainer Juice Wrld, who died of a drug overdose in 2019.

In the wake of the shooting, Dolph's collaborators have expressed their grief over losing the artist.

Megan Thee Stallion, who was a featured artist on Young Dolph's "RNB", tweeted, "I am sooo sick rn I am in disbelief! Praying for his family and friends! Rest In Peace to my friend a true legend dolph."

Lil Yachty, who collaborated with Young Dolph on 2017 single "Bagg", recalled their time living next to each other.

"Damn man, me and Dolph used to be next door neighbors. Smh. RIP DOLPH," the Atlanta rapper said.

Rapper 2 Chainz, who collaborated on multiple songs with Young Dolph, gave appreciation to the fallen rapper.

"Love ya. Bru I appreciate you and gone miss ya Dolph," 2 Chainz tweeted.

"R.I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart," tweeted Gucci Mane, who made multiple song appearances with Young Dolph.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.