Young Dolph, Prolific Memphis Rapper, Shot Dead at 36

The “King of Memphis” rapper was shot and killed at a bakery in his hometown

young dolph
Young Dolph in 2017 (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Rapper Young Dolph was shot and killed in his hometown of Memphis on Wednesday afternoon, multiple law enforcement sources told local news station FOX13. He was 36.

Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., was inside Makeda’s Butter Cookies in Memphis, when employees said someone drove up and shot him, the bakery’s owner told FOX13. According to a tweet from Memphis police, he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland reacted to news of Dolph’s death on Twitter Wednesday, writing, “The tragic shooting death of rap artist Young Dolph serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Young Dolph was best known for his feature on the 2015 O.T. Genasis hit “Cut It,” and released his debut album, “King of Memphis,” the following year. In the time since, he continued to make at least one album each year, including his most recent, 2020’s “Rich Slave,” which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. He performed at New York’s Rolling Loud Hip-Hop Festival just last month.

Tributes for the rapper began to pour in shortly after news of his death broke Wednesday afternoon. Megan Thee Stallion, who collaborated with Young Dolph on his song “RNB,” called him a “real legend” in an Instagram post.

“Everybody that know me knows I play this man music EVERY DAY !” she wrote. “He was so genuine so real so kind to me. Rest In Peace to a real legend.”

See more reactions to Dolph’s death — from Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane and more — below.