Young Dolph tragically lost his life following a shooting at Makeda’s Cookies in Memphis. Dolph always passed by Makeda’s when visiting Memphis. Dolph was in Memphis supporting an aunt with cancer and handing out Thanksgiving turkeys. The independent rapper had survived two shootings before this third one took his life.
“I’ve been targeted since I was 17, 18, 19,” Dolph told The Guardian in 2018. Dolph was a product of the streets, where he sold drugs to alleviate his family’s dire financial situation. He grew his fan base by telling stories of survival in the criminal underworld of Memphis.
Dolph was raised by his strict grandmother, as his parents were cocaine addicts
Young Dolph was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 27th July 1985. When he was two years old, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
Dolph’s grandmother raised him and his younger siblings: Dolph’s parents were cocaine addicts who couldn’t raise the kids effectively. Young Dolph told Big Facts that he saw his parents every other week or every three weeks.
He told the outlet that most children in South Memphis were raised by their grandmothers as their parents were drug addicts. Dolph counted himself lucky as he got to see his parents periodically; other children rarely saw their parents.
Living under grandma’s rules wasn’t easy, but it helped shape Dolph into a responsible man. “I thought she was the meanest motherfucker in the world,” Dolph said.
Dolph said he couldn’t understand why his grandmother, Ida Mae, declined to entertain some of his friends. “I didn’t get that shit at the time,” he said. However, as he got older, he began to understand why Ida was such a no-nonsense character.
“She prepared a nigga for life,” Dolph added. “My grandma influenced me so hard. She fucked a nigga up in a good way.”
As he grew up, Dolph’s urge to be more useful in the household grew. He didn’t possess the expertise to get a regular job, so he became a drug dealer on the streets. Young Dolph told Vice:
“Can you imagine a 77-year-old woman trying to raise three elementary kids in the middle of the hood, with all this gang activity and drug infestation. That’s hard to do for an old lady. So my situation, I’m realizing all the responsibility. I couldn’t let her take all the responsibility. I always liked money, so when I was 15, 16 I went headfirst in the streets.”
Dolph tried to get his parents clean after his grandmother’s passing
Young Dolph might have harbored a bit of resentment for his parents, but he never showed it. Dolph’s parents had a cocaine dependency, which made them unfit to raise Dolph and his siblings. The rapper addressed his parents’ drug struggles in the song, In My System. He told Rolling Stone:
“It’s my mama and daddy. I got the cocaine running through my system because, like, I was saying that because that’s what my mama and daddy was. That’s what they was on. That’s what they was into.”
Dolph resolved early on to help his parents manage their addictions. “I told my grandma a long time ago that I was going to take my mom and dad out the hood,” Dolph told The Guardian.
It wasn’t until his grandmother’s and aunt’s passing that Dolph put effort into getting his mom and dad clean. Dolph realized that he could channel the time and effort he was spending on the streets towards music and rehabilitation for his parents. He told Vibe:
“After that is when I started doing music. Then my grandmother passed. After that some more of my folks passed with lung cancer. I just knew that I was losing a whole lot of time being in the streets. Time that I could’ve been kicking it with my folks. It’s other ways to get money, but the life we come from all we know is the streets.”
Young Dolph shared familial relations with the late rapper Juice Wrld
Young Dolph found out that Juice Wrld was his cousin on Thanksgiving 2017. Unfortunately, Juice passed away before the pair connected.
Via an impassioned Instagram post, Dolph regretted not spending time with Juice. Dolph stated that he didn’t care about collaborating with Juice; all he wanted was to meet and talk to the beloved late rapper. Young Dolph wrote:
“I didn’t even get a chance to put my lil cuzzo in da back of the RR and give him all the game I wanted to give him. [I] didn’t get a chance to drop the top on my Bentley and pull up on my grandma with Juice in the car with me. [I] didn’t even get a chance to smoke witchu. Watch over your moms and the rest of the family and tell God to make sure he save me a spot please.”