Young Dolph

Young Dolph (American rapper) Age, Wiki, Bio & Facts.

Young Dolph
Born Name: Adolph Robert Thornton Jr.
Date of Birthday: July 27, 1985
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: November 17, 2021 (aged 36), Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Other names: Dolph Gabbana , Flippa
Education: Hamilton High School
Occupation: Rapper, songwriter
Years active: 2006–2021
Children: Tre Tre Thornton, Aria Ella Thornton
Relatives: Key Glock (cousin-by-marriage), Juice Wrld (second cousin)
Musical career
Origin: Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres: Hip hop, gangsta rap, Memphis rap
Labels: Paper Route, Empire
Associated acts: 2 Chainz, Berner, Gucci Mane, Key Glock, Peewee Longway, Zaytoven
Official Website:

Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. (July 27, 1985 – November 17, 2021), better known by his stage name Young Dolph, was an American rapper. In 2016, he released his debut studio album, King of Memphis, which peaked at number 49 on the Billboard 200 chart. He was featured on O.T. Genasis's hit single "Cut It", which peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Young Dolph's seventh album, Rich Slave, was released in 2020 and became his highest-charting project, debuting at number four on the Billboard 200. On November 17, 2021, he was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.

Early life
Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. was born on July 27, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois. When he was two years old, his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. He had two sisters and two brothers; he and rapper Juice Wrld were second cousins. Thornton was mostly raised by his grandmother; his parents experienced 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, many of his peers 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 began utilizing her teachings throughout his life to be more independent. His grandmother often did not allow Thornton to have friends visit their home, but on occasion let homeless friends stay with the family. As a teenager, Thornton attended Hamilton High School.

2008–2017: Success and shootings
In 2008, Young Dolph released his first mixtape Paper Route Campaign. Two years later, he formally established his label Paper Route Empire in 2010, an independent record label not affiliated with a major record label, and subsequently released Welcome 2 Dolph World that same year. With the release of mixtapes High Class Street Music and High Class Street Music Episode 2 in 2011, Young Dolph began to develop his own rap flow, 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". With Young Dolph's increasing popularity, Memphis rapper Yo Gotti offered him a record deal with Yo Gotti's Collective Music Group label (affiliated with Epic Records) in August 2014, but Young Dolph declined, preferring to remain independent.

In 2016, Young Dolph was featured on O.T. Genasis's double platinum hit single "Cut It". Later that year, he released his debut album King of Memphis under his independent Paper Route Empire label, which peaked at number 49 on the Billboard 200. Other Memphis rappers (including 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, "SHAKE SUM (Young Dolph Diss)" in response.

The following year, Young Dolph released a diss track against Yo Gotti entitled "Play Wit Yo' Bitch", prompting Yo Gotti to release a response song. Two weeks later, in February 2017, Young Dolph released a music video for "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. His car was reportedly shot over 100 times but was outfitted with bulletproof panels, and no one was hurt. Following the shooting, Blac Youngsta and 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 Bulletproof. In September that same year, he was shot multiple times; in February 2018, he released the extended play Niggas Get Shot Everyday, referencing this prior incident.

2017–2020: Charting singles and first top 10 album
In 2017, Young Dolph signed his cousin-by-marriage and fellow Memphis rapper Key Glock to his Paper Route Empire label, after the two had met at family gatherings. In 2018, they released the single "Major", which peaked at number 47 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. That same year, Young Dolph said that he had been offered a $22 million label deal which he turned down. Preferring to stay on his own independent label, Young Dolph stated, "It really was a good deal, a super good deal to tell you the truth. But it's just, I see something else".

Young Dolph later revealed that he signed a record deal with Empire Distribution, and his September 2018 album Role Model was released under the label Paper Route EMPIRE, a joint venture between Paper Route Empire and Empire distribution. In July 2019, Young Dolph again collaborated with Key Glock, this time releasing his first collaborative album entitled Dum and Dummer, imitating the title of the Farrelly brothers' film Dumb and Dumber.

The album peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200, earning each of the artists their first top 10 album. The album was produced by BandPlay, who used a variety of styles of beats in the album's tracks. Reviewers for the album noted Young Dolph's greater "songwriting range", with "depths of self-loathing and despair" that were complemented by the younger Key Glock's "celebrations of himself".

2020–2021: Retirement rumors and top 10 solo album
Rumors emerged in early 2020 that Young Dolph was considering his retirement from music in order to spend more time with his children, and was seen more frequently in Memphis. On his Instagram, Young Dolph wrote, "Highly considering quitting the music business because I really wanna be with my kids 24/7". During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Young Dolph released the single "Sunshine" and released edited album covers of previous releases on streaming services to feature individuals wearing surgical masks to highlight and address the global situation.

In an interview with GQ in May 2020, he was asked about his recent release of music, with Young Dolph replying "Man, my little boy wanted to hear some new music. ... I'll keep it real: I ain't really been on my rapper shit, I been on my industry shit, the big bro shit. I got a lot of artists, and I been dropping all my artists' projects, and they going up. ... So I'm like, 'Yeah, I gotta go ahead and give it to them.' I gotta drop it."

Young Dolph's seventh album, Rich Slave, was released on August 14, 2020. It was preceded by the singles "Blue Diamonds", "RNB" featuring Megan Thee Stallion and "Death Row". Young Dolph explained the album's title, stating "It's the reality of being Black in this country". Rich Slave was Young Dolph's highest-charting album, peaking at 4th on the Billboard 200.

On March 5, 2021, Young Dolph and Key Glock released the single "Aspen", and subsequently their second collaborative album, Dum and Dummer 2, was released on March 26, 2021. It is a sequel to 2019's Dum and Dummer, and combined solo songs with tracks featuring both artists. The project's cartoon artwork references Beavis and Butt-Head. The album was released by Young Dolph's independent Paper Route Empire label. In a review on Pitchfork, Nadine Smith gave the album a 7.5/10 rating, stating that "Dolph & Glock fashion themselves in the image of pop culture dunces even if at the same time they’re poised, extravagant, and immaculate—there’s a casualness to their rapport and respective flows that never announces itself too much."

Personal life
Thornton had two children, Tre Tre and Aria, with his partner, Mia Jaye. He said 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, Los Angeles, on September 26, 2017. He was listed 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 cleared. Meanwhile, 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 began 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, donating $25,000 to his alma mater, Hamilton High School, and providing motivational speeches to students. Known for handing out Thanksgiving dinners, Thornton gave away two hundred turkeys to individuals at the West Cancer Center days before his death and was scheduled to donate additional meals days later.

On November 17, 2021, at 12:22 pm, Thornton was fatally shot in Memphis while picking up cookies for his mother at Makeda's Homemade Butter Cookies, a bakery he frequented whenever he was back home. Two unidentified gunmen alighted from a white two-door Mercedes-Benz and gunned him down. Thornton was recorded mere moments before via a fan's smartphone at a Marathon gas station located just a few miles from where he was ultimately shot. Crowds of hundreds of people swarmed the scene of Thornton's death for hours; police had to prevent individuals from entering 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.

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