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Span of Memphis Street Renamed for Murdered rapper Young Dolph

MEMPHIS, TENN. – The family and friends of deceased rapper Young Dolph remembered him Wednesday as a loving father, skilled businessman and generous philanthropist at a ceremony to rename a street for him in the same Memphis area where he grew up and was also shot last month.

The rapper’s 7-year-old son stands on a ladder and pulls a rope to remove the cover from a brown and yellow street sign, not far from Young Dolph’s childhood home and bakery where he was killed in November 17 while picking bread in broad daylight. A stretch of road near Memphis International Airport, Dunn Avenue, now has a plaque bearing the rap artist’s real name, Adolph Thornton Jr.

Known for his depictions of tough street life and his independent approach to the music business, Young Dolph was admired for his philanthropy in Memphis. He organized Thanksgiving turkeys, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, paid rent and paid funeral expenses for people in the Castalia Heights neighborhood where he grew up.

Among those who attended the ceremony were his parents, partner Mia Jaye, their children Adolph III and Aria, 4, other relatives, fans, friends, city officials and members by the music label “Paper Route Empire”.

DJ Rock Steddy, DJ of Young Dolph, said: “Naming this street after him leaves something tangible, something tangible. “When you see that sign, it’s not just a sign for Young Dolph, it’s a sign for the future of this community and this city. You can all see that anything is possible. “

No arrests were made in the murder, which stunned Memphis and shocked the entertainment world. Police say two men exited a white Mercedes-Benz and fired shots at Makeda’s Homemade Cookies on Nov. 17. Police have released stills from surveillance video recording the incident. opened fire and authorities later found the abandoned vehicle.

City officials and community activists also see the killing as emblematic of the gun violence disaster in Memphis, where more than 250 homicides have been reported this year.

“We shouldn’t be here to celebrate the passing of Young Dolph,” said JB Smiley Jr., a Memphis City Council member who is running for governor of Tennessee as a Democrat. . “We should be here to celebrate as he lived today.”

A private funeral was held for Young Dolph earlier this month. He will be honored Thursday in public celebration at FedExForum, home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzles and the University of Memphis men’s basketball team.

When he was killed, Young Dolph was in Memphis doing a Thanksgiving turkey donation and visiting a cancer center. Friends and associates handed out turkeys, stuffing mix and cranberry sauce at a church two days after the scene was filmed, an event the 36-year-old rapper helped organize and is expected to attend.

He is also hosting Christmas events at another church and a senior center, which take place without him, his aunt, Rita Myers, said. Meanwhile, his plans to set up a music academy at a community center are expected to continue.

Myers said her grandson was a “fearless man” who walked the streets of his neighborhood alone, even after becoming a celebrity.

“He gets along with the kids in the community and other people in the community because he loves to share, to communicate with people,” says Myers.

Young Dolph was born in Chicago and moved to Memphis with his parents when he was 2. He has released many mixtapes, starting with 2008’s “Paper Route Campaign” and numerous studio albums, including his 2016 debut album. King of Memphis”. He also collaborated on many other mixtapes and albums with fellow rappers Key Glock, Megan Thee Stallion, TI, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and others.

He’s had three top 10 albums on the Billboard 200, with 2020’s “Rich Slave” peaking at #4.

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