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Memphis official proposes renaming street after slain rapper Young Dolph

The rapper was gunned down late last month inside of a bakery.
Young Dolph performs in New York on Jan. 31, 2019.
Young Dolph performs in New York in 2019.John Lamparski / Getty Images file

A city council member will propose renaming a Memphis street in honor of slain hip-hop artist Young Dolph.  

The announcement comes less than a month after the rapper, 36, was fatally shot inside a Memphis bakery, Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies on Nov. 12. Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was a Memphis native who was visiting his hometown for a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway and other charity events. 

The Memphis Police Department has obtained surveillance video of the incident and is searching for two suspects. No arrests have been made, police said. 

JB Smiley, the city council member who proposed the renaming, said he plans to propose the measure on Tuesday and hopes it will offer a space for residents to grieve and celebrate the rapper’s legacy. Smiley said he expects the measure to gain the full support of the City Council.

“It’s important for the city of Memphis to know that we’re going to celebrate our own,” Smiley told NBC BLK. “We need to tell the story that he was investing in young people in our community. He came back to Memphis to give back. … It’s only right for the city of Memphis to do right by him.” 

The rapper’s family said the street renaming — which will be in the South Memphis neighborhood where Young Dolph grew up — is a testament to his life.

“Castalia Heights community, in particular, bestowing this honor is not only a way to celebrate his contributions, but it also continues to serve as a remembrance for the people of this community, of someone who made themselves a relatable example of hard work and perseverance,” the family said in a statement. “He sent the message that someone who went to the same schools as them, and walked the same streets that they do, was able to not only create a successful legacy for himself but also prioritize family and community. In short, he was a role model and beacon of hope. And he took this responsibility very seriously.” 

Smiley plans to hold a public ceremony for the street renaming on Dec. 15. 

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