Memphis Loses A Beloved Artist (Young Dolph) It’s More Than Music

In the movie New Jack City, there is a scene where Wesley Snipes’ character, Nino Brown, and his colleagues serve a robust Thanksgiving meal to the “needy” members of the community.  

If this was real life, it seems as if politicians would applaud this act of “ community service” by Nino Brown and the Cash Money Brothers – who by the way were drug dealers and murders

Memphis, Tennessee consistently ranks at the top of those “ most violent cities” list. City leaders and community members constantly lament that our city is plagued with violent crime. 

It’s no wonder why the community would support the honoring naming of a street by a Memphis rapper, who was recently shot and killed in broad daylight. This was a tragic incident. However, senseless violence and murders happen in Memphis every day. With more than 300 homicides this year, Memphis is on track to break its record of 323 homicides in 2020. 

 He clearly was a charitable young man and loved Memphis. Donating money to his former high school, visiting staff at a local cancer clinic, and passing out turkeys at Thanksgiving are just some of his community endeavors.  He was a family man adored by his significant other and his children. City leaders cite his community involvement as reasons he should be honored. 

As with most of us, he was a multi-faceted individual.  Which brings me to the age-old question, “ Does the end justify the means?” 

“ I showed her a Xanax, she hurried up and took it.  I fucked her so good, she got up and started cooking” –  Get Paid

“Dropped out of high school. Had to start bringing by Glock, couldn’t show and tell.”  – 1 Scale

His success comes from his music where his fans embrace his message of violence, misogyny, drug dealing and drug using. All things that continue to plague not just the city of Memphis, but urban communities everywhere.  

This is bigger than Young Dolph.  There are many rappers that can be inserted into this scenario. This is about a city and a generation that straight up glorifies, embraces and celebrates the very things that are destroying it. 

“ Bulletproof vest , Bentley ’round my neck.  I put the Dracos up, brought out the carbines and the TECs” – But I’m Bulletproof

There seems to be a formula.  Sell drugs. Rap about selling drugs. Rap about violence. Sell a lot of records. Become famous. Engage in community service and BOOM! 

You’re a “ Hometown Hero.”  

These messages permeate the ears of our children as they play out the lyrics in real life?

Working in 9-1-1, I hear the cries of citizens. They call hysterically after being robbed, carjacked and/or  seeing someone being shot.  People call after seeing their loved ones fall victim to overdoses.   While many dance and bop to rap music, no one is smiling when this happens for real. The voices of  9-1-1 callers are filled with fear, panic, and despair. 

If we continue to do the same things, we will continue to get the same results. Where are the leaders that will stand up and so NO more!  This is not acceptable. We appreciate his kind works. He has done some great things, but he is not honorable. We don’t want to send mixed messages to our children. For every one that may have a successful rap career, hundreds more will be incarcerated and/or killed by these very things. We preach to the kids that guns and drugs are bad, then lift up someone we know and they know promote a contrasting message. 

“ The only thing I trust is this pistol and these slugs.” – Preach 

“Black Men Deserve to Grow Old” is a movement that has been thrust to the forefront following his death. Ironically, if there was a soundtrack to that movement, Young Dolph’s music would not make the cut. 

** I hope I have made clear although he is the example used in this article. This post is not about HIM. I am saddened to hear about his untimely passing ( as I am with all violent deaths) and pray for the comfort and healing of his family, fans and all those he touched.

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