Young Dolph, a rapper who was 36 years old, was fatally wounded and killed on November 17 in Memphis, Tennessee, in a drive-by shooting. The manner in which he passed away was detailed in an autopsy report from March 2022.
Who Was Young Dolph?
Adolph Young Dolph was the stage name of Robert Thornton Jr., an American rapper. King of Memphis, his first studio album, was published in 2016 and reached a top position of 49 on the Billboard 200 chart.
He was a part of the successful song “Cut It” by O.T. Genasis, which peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rich Slave, Young Dolph’s seventh album, debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 upon release in 2020 and quickly rose to the top of the charts.
Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 27, 1985.
At the age of two, his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. He was second cousins with rapper Juice Wrld; he has two brothers and two sisters.
Thornton’s parents struggled with crack cocaine addictions, and as a boy, he only saw them sometimes. Thornton spent the majority of his childhood living with his grandmother, Ida Mae.
Young Dolph released his debut mixtape, Paper Route Campaign, in 2008 after receiving encouragement from his pals.
Observing its popularity in his community, he made the decision to devote himself entirely to rap. Two years later, in 2010, he formally founded his independent record label Paper Route Empire.
That same year, he also released his debut mainstream mixtape Welcome 2 Dolph World, which was hosted by Atlanta DJ DJ Scream and featured artists 8Ball & MJG, 2 Chainz (then known as Tity Boi), Tim Gates, and Money Makkin Murda.
Young Dolph started to develop his own rap flow with the release of the mixtapes High-Class Street Music and High-Class Street Music 2 in 2011, moving away from a style resembling that of Memphis rappers Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball & MJG and toward a personal style dubbed “vociferous” with a “magnetic delivery and uniquely deep voice.”
Young Dolph Cause Of Death
While purchasing cookies for his mother at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies, a bakery he usually frequented whenever he was home, on November 17, 2021, Young Dolph was tragically murdered in Memphis. He was killed by two gunmen driving a white Mercedes-Benz two-door.
Thornton suffered 22 gunshot wounds, including bullet exits, according to an autopsy. There were several injuries to the back and forehead. For hours, large crowds of hundreds of people flocked the scene of Thornton’s death; police had to barricade the area while they conducted an investigation.
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In response, Memphis councilman J. B. Smiley and Tennessee House Representative London Lamar called for a curfew in Memphis to stop rioting and bloodshed.
The funeral for Young Dolph took place on November 30, 2021. First Baptist Church Broad Street had a service. Security and Memphis Police accompanied the family’s convoy of black SUVs to the graveyard next to Young Dolph’s high school, Hamilton High School.
Police named Justin Johnson, age 23, as one of the murder suspects on January 5, 2022, and a first-degree murder warrant was then issued.
The Tennessee authorities offered up a reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator $15,000. Johnson, who went by the rap name Straight Drop, has a documented history of violent crimes and “links to organized criminal groups.”
On January 11, a different suspect, 32-year-old Cornelius Smith (who was detained for stealing the vehicle used in Dolph’s murder), was charged with first-degree murder, possessing illegal firearms, and theft.
Police in Indiana were able to apprehend Johnson that day after receiving more than 500 tips that led to his detention.
Johnson’s passenger Shundale Barnett, 27, who was riding in the car, was also taken into custody. Johnson and Smith were charged with first-degree murder and additional offenses on January 12. Barnett was accused of being an “after-the-fact accessory”.