A common trope within the hip-hop industry revolves around giving back to your community. Oftentimes, artists like Young Dolph who grow from the trenches and the roughest parts of the country aim to support those who grew up like them. Unfortunately, staying in the area where you rose from out of the mud can lead to jealousy and violent action.
There is a fine line between supporting your neighborhood and staying in your neighborhood. Clearly, to do so there will be instances where you have to remain in the area to provide funds or initiatives. That is exactly what Young Dolph did. As a matter of fact, he took it to an entirely new level with the amount of philanthropy and favors returned.
Young Dolph grew up in Castalia Heights which is in Southern Memphis, TN. He lived and breathed Memphis from supporting Coach Penny Hardaway to donating $25,000 to his alma mater Hamilton High School for equipment and educational tools.
Money was not an object to this man and he certainly gave back any chance that he got. Dolph owned what he labored which included his musical catalogue (masters) and his own label, Paper Route Empire. Notable artists signed to the label such as Key Glock are definitely ailing as of this moment due to the fact that he was tragically gunned down in Memphis recently.
Adolph Thornton was a man who recognized talent and elevated it to the furthest extent. His nonprofit foundation hosted annual Thanksgiving giveaways where they would distribute thousands of turkeys and baked goods to those within the community. He also held challenges where aspiring artists could compete for large sums of money to jumpstart their careers.
There was a time when two Starbucks employees got fired for playing Young Dolph’s hit single, “Get Paid” while on the clock. Dolph responded by flying them out, bringing them on stage & blessing both of them with $20,000. Artists with this sort of extraordinarily generous outlook are few and far between.
Perhaps, Dolph knew that his time here was short and strived to give back at every corner of the journey? The onus is entirely on those who gunned him down outside of his favorite cookie store, Makeda’s. With that, it is important to focus upon subject matter as well. Granted, hip-hop is an art form thus the metaphors and lines used cannot be taken 100% literally.
Then again, this was not the first attempt on Young Dolph’s life. Previously, he had survived a gun scuffle in critical condition and a separate attempt where parties fired over 100 shots into his armored vehicle. Rather than try to create distance between him and the hood, Dolph continued to embrace his role as nurturer of the rough and tumble area by which he became popular.
“Be careful because most of the hate comes from people in the world that’s just like you so be careful. Love your city, respect it but also be aware that it’s good to be outside. It’s good to be other places, but you always check in.”Drink Champs episode
Also, Young Dolph continued to propagate the notion that he was untouchable within his musical body of work.
We lost Nipsey Hussle, Chinx Drugs & X.X.X. Tentacion all in similar geographic situations. Now, the hip-hop community mourns once more due to another senseless act of violence. And for what? Clout?
Long live the efforts of a hip-hop artist who was flooding the streets they grew up on with positivity and financial support.
Being a hip-hop artist is the most dangerous occupation in the world. They are not granted the same inalienable protection as individuals within similar tax brackets & often receive the brunt of unimaginable envy, hatred and cynicism.
That is why I ask all my brothers and sisters to move wisely, silently and with the most precautions as possible. Even then, they will still try to find a way to create your demise. That is why we prevail and fight to carry on. R.I.P. Young Dolph.