Young Dolph (RIP)
Coming on the scene with stern club bangers and cold punch lines, Memphis-based rapper Young Dolph became a local hero with a series of mixtapes before breaking nationwide around 2014. Born Adolph Thornton, Jr. in Chicago, Dolph debuted in 2008 with the mixtape Paper Route Campaign. Subsequent releases like The Weed Album and South Memphis Kingpin brought him to 2012, when he dropped the first in a successful series of mixtapes dubbed High Class Street Music. By the time High Class Street Music 4 and the "Preach" single dropped in 2014, Dolph was working with major-label producers including DrummaBoy and ZayToven. Both provided tracks for his 2016 debut LP, King of Memphis, which featured no guest artists, and debuted at number 49 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Dolph's seventh studio album, Rich Slave, arrived in August 2020 and found him addressing issues of racism and inequality in America.