How Did Young Dolph Die? The Sad Details of His Murder

how did young dolph die
Young Dolph performing in 2017. Image by Slyguy1255 on Wikimedia Commons.

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 06:19 am

Friends, relatives, and fans of Memphis rapper Young Dolph are still mourning him more than a year after his death on November 17, 2021. How did Young Dolph die? Find out all the details surrounding his death, plus some facts about his life that you might not know.

What is Young Dolph’s Real Name? 

Young Dolph was born Adolph Thorton Johnson Jr. in Chicago on July 27, 1985. His family moved to Memphis when he was two.

young dolph age
Young Dolph outside a studio session with Nashville’s Bug Diddy in 2016. Image by Slyguy1255 on Wikimedia Commons.

Young Dolph’s Family

Dolph’s parents struggled with drug addiction, a topic that he often raps about. Because of this, he was largely raised by his grandmother Ida Mae. 

The “Blue Diamonds” singer has two sisters and two brothers. 

Related: How Did Notorious B.I.G Die? Inside the Rap Legend’s Final Hours 

Young Dolph’s Career

Dolph’s professional rap career began in 2008 when he released his first official mixtape, Paper Route Campaign.

He built a following with his prolific mixtapes and work with Southern rappers such as 2 Chainz, which solidified his reputation. The “Major” rapper would go on to work with Gucci Mane, Juicy J, Memphis veteran Project Pat, and many others.

Other early Dolph mixtapes include A Time to Kill (2012), Blue Magic (2012), and the High Class Street Music series (2012-2015). 

Young Dolph released his first full-length album, King of Memphis, in 2016. It peaked at #49 on the Billboard 200 even though it was released on his own independent Paper Route Empire label.

Other Young Dolph albums include Bulletproof (2017), Rich Slave (2020), and posthumous Paper Route Frank (2022).

Young Dolph’s most popular songs include “Major,” “100 Shots,” “Talking to my Scale,” “Get Away,” “By Mistake,” and “On the River.”

Related: The 14 Best Rappers of All Time 

Young Dolph’s Personality

Dolph always maintained an easygoing public persona. His raps offered an honest view of having to grow up black and poor in the south.

He wasn’t hesitant with a lewd joke, delving as much into silliness as he did honesty. His lyrics were indeed unpretentious and approachable.

But Dolph was more than a well-known rap artist. As a member of the Memphis and black communities, he tried to uplift and assist younger performers by helping them navigate the rap world.

Dolph would regularly stay in a house far from the bustle of his hometown and bring artists and a team of musicians to produce music.


Is Young Dolph related to Juice WRLD? 

Yes, Young Dolph and Juice WRLD are second cousins, though they didn’t find out until 2017.

Related: 18 Facts About Juice WRLD 

Related: How did Juice WRLD Die? A Tragic Story of Overdose on Codeine and Percocet 

What is Young Dolph’s Net Worth?

Young Dolph net worth is now $3 Million. 

Young Dolph’s Children

Young Dolph had one son and one daughter with his partner Mia Jayne. 

Violence in Young Dolph’s Life

Young Dolph’s murder was not the first time he had been in an altercation involving guns.

In 2017, Dolph was feuding with fellow rapper Yo Gotti. The day after Dolph released the video for his Gotti diss track “Play Wit Yo’ Bitch,” his car was reportedly shot more than 100 times. 

Thankfully, nobody was hurt, as the car had bulletproof panels. Blac Youngsta and two others were arrested for involvement in the incident, but not enough evidence was found to charge them.

Always savvy, Dolph used the publicity from the shooting to promote his most recent album at the time, Bulletproof

He was also shot multiple times in February 2017, prompting the Niggas Get Shot Everyday EP. 

young dolph performing on stage
Image from Shutterstock

How Did Young Dolph Die?

On November 20, 2021, gunmen stormed Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies, shooting and killing Dolph. He was shot 22 times in the shooting spree that took the famous rapper’s life.

Dolph died as a result of gunshot injuries to the head, neck, and chest. Homicide was declared as the cause of death. The Shelby County Medical Examiner in Tennessee provided these data in a summary report.

He was in Memphis for his regular Thanksgiving donation, according to various sources. The artist, who was mainly based in Atlanta, was set to deliver turkeys to his former community that afternoon.

Two suspects in the incident are shown carrying guns in images distributed by the Memphis Police Department. According to authorities, the suspects drove up to the cookie shop, stepped out of their car, and fired into the business.

Following Dolph’s death, many members of the rap world conveyed their sympathies to his family via social networking sites. “Rest In Peace to my friend a true legend Dolph,” Megan Thee Stallion posted on Twitter.

Related: Who Killed TuPac Shakur 

How Old Was Young Dolph When He Died?

Young Dolph age was 36 when he was killed. 

Events Following Young Dolph’s Death

Three people have been arrested in Dolph’s manslaughter a year after he was shot. Cornelius Smith was captured on December 9, 2021, Justin Johnson on January 11, 2021, and Hernandez Govan on November 10, 2022.

Hernandez Govan was convicted of first-degree murder, planned first-degree murder, and conspiracy to attempted first-degree murder. 

The details of the conspiracy accusation were not disclosed, but prosecutor Paul Hagerman stated that Johnson and Smith were also charged with conspiracy.

Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies, on the other hand, was forced to close immediately following the incident. 

Where is Young Dolph buried? 

Young Dolph is buried in South Memphis. 

Young Dolph’s Legacy

Many artists on Dolph’s Paper Route Empire record label released a tribute album to their fallen friend, Long Live Young Dolph, in early 2022. 

Featuring the single “LLD (Long Live Dolph),” it included guest appearances from Dolph associates Jay Fizzle, Kenny Muney, and Key Glock.

An album of songs he was working on before he died, Paper Route Frank, was released in late 2022. 

It’s safe to say that Young Dolph will be remembered for a long time, especially in his adopted hometown of Memphis. 

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Written by Anna Paulson


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