Rapper Young Dolph shot and killed at 36

Young Dolph discussed a recent turn towards caring for his own mental health in his final posts on Twitter last month. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Young Dolph, a deeply skilled Memphis rapper with deadpan bravado and a fierce independent streak who emerged as one of hip-hop's most promising new stars in recent years, was killed on Wednesday (Nov 17) in a shooting in his home town. He was 36.

The news, which had been reported by Fox 13 Memphis, was confirmed by the mayor of Memphis, Mr Jim Strickland, who wrote on Twitter: "The tragic shooting death of rap artist Young Dolph serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it."

The Memphis Police Department said a fatal shooting occurred at Makeda's Homemade Butter Cookies, a bakery that Young Dolph had frequented. A Lamborghini said to belong to Young Dolph was parked out front, according to photos on social media.

No information on a suspect was immediately available.

Born Adolph Thornton Jr. on July 27, 1985, in Chicago, Young Dolph moved as a small child to Memphis, where he was raised mostly by his grandmother. As he was growing up, he witnessed drug abuse by his parents, the rapper said in interviews.

By the time he was a teenager, Young Dolph had turned towards that illicit world of drug dealing and violence in hopes of helping his family, he said.

Young Dolph began releasing mixtapes in the late 2000s, and his last solo album, Rich Slave, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart last year. All of his last six albums (solo and collaborative) arrived in the Top 25.

In 2017, he was involved in two shooting incidents, believed to be related to a running feud with another rapper, and later rapped about the shootings in songs.

In what would be his final posts to Twitter last month, Young Dolph discussed a recent turn towards caring for his own mental health. "I never knew what anxiety meant until my doctor just explained to me that I have it this morning," he wrote. "Doctor said I need some me time to myself."

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