Remembering Young Dolph’s Kindness

Remembering Young Dolph’s Kindness

11.19.21
Photo: by Prince Williams/Wireimage via Getty Images
11.19.21

Tennessee rapper Young Dolph, known for his generosity throughout his community, died tragically Wednesday. He was 36.

Born Adolph Thorton, Jr., the Memphis lyricist and philanthropist prepared to host his annual Thanksgiving turkey drive the day he was fatally shot outside a cookie shop.

The event was just one of many kind gestures he became known for.  

Dolph went viral last year after gifting a fan a $400,000 Lamborghini, along with his blessing for the young mother to sell it and use the funds to support her family. When two students at Duke University were fired at school for playing his music, the artist flew them out to Rolling Loud, a festival he was performing at, and gifted the former baristas $20,000 to hold them over until they found a new job. 

A post shared by his former principal shows Dolph’s humility and just how much he showed up for his community. He also founded the Ida Mae Family Foundation, named after his grandmother. The foundation is dedicated to serving the neighborhood of Castalia Heights in Memphis. 

A keen entrepreneur, the rapper started his own record label Paper Route Empire in 2010 and later strengthened that through a joint partnership with EMPIRE, an indie label founded in San Francisco. He retained ownership of his masters and released several Billboard-charting albums, including 2020’s “Rich Slave.” As CEO of the label, Dolph signed cousin and protege Key Glock with whom he collaborated on two joint albums.

Dolph was also known for dispelling industry myths and breaking down real-world scenarios on what it takes to be a successful independent artist.