Young Dolph, a luminous person, and generational talent, passed away yesterday in Memphis at the age of 36. The man born Adolph Thornton, Jr. is survived by his wife and two children.
The rap game, the city of Memphis, and the world at large lost a giant, a man who used his business acumen and unparalleled facility with authoritative, braggadocious, and deeply clever rhymes to rise from poverty and become the CEO of his own Paper Route Empire. He was an endless source of wisdom, with a startling sense of humor and unfailing support for the rising artists he took under his wing.
Dolph was much more than a rapper and entrepreneur–he was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, an uncle, and a community leader. Fans know about the time he gifted two baristas fired for playing his music with a check on stage at Rolling Loud, but he was equally philanthropic behind the scenes. He founded the Ida Mae Family Foundation–named after his grandmother–a charitable organization dedicated to serving the needs and strengthening the community of his home neighborhood of Castalia Heights in Memphis.
Dolph hosted a Mother’s Day brunch in 2019 to benefit victims of domestic violence and women suffering from addiction and homelessness, and he was a regular presence in his home neighborhood, gifting a sizable sum to his alma mater Hamilton High School in Castalia Heights and regularly donating school supplies in the fall, turkeys at Thanksgiving, and gifts at Christmas. He changed a fan’s life when he gave a contest winner his own custom-wrapped Lamborghini Aventador, which she sold for enough money to buy a new home for her growing family. Just earlier this week, Dolph visited West Cancer Center, a health facility in his hometown, to lift the spirits of those suffering from illness.
We at HipHopSince1987 will cherish the memories and wisdom of the man behind the legend, who radiated love for his family, close friends, and hometown. He was a loving father whose face lit up whenever he cared for, or just spoke about his children. He was a natural wit with a keen strategic mind and attention to detail, who always did things his own way. We are proud to have known Dolph and to help him spread the message that lives on in his music and his artists’ music.
Those who wish to continue Dolph’s charitable work can donate to the Ida Mae Family Foundation HERE
© 2021, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.