Memphis, Tennessee is home to a lot of legendary Rap artists and Young Dolph is trying to reach that status level. However Dolph continues to be a victim of his previous circumstances. The Memphis Rapper was shot several times this week. Not that Adolph “Young Dolph” Thornton, Jr. hadn’t moved on but apparently his hometown has not. The ‘hood proverb states, “you can take the person out the hood but you can’t take the hood out the person.” Every time Dolph is involved in a violent incident Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims’ name is brought up. Sometimes when Rappers blow up they continue to have the same problems they’ve had before they became a celebrity. Jeezy and Gucci Mane had to settle their differences in order to elevate their careers. The irony is that those who were never associated with the streets get a little money and surround themselves with gangstas and those that came up in the streets get in the game and do everything they can to leave that life. When Dolph gets out of the hospital what will follow? More violence? Violence begets violence.
If Young Dolph were to lose his life would we still support Yo Gotti? The police didn’t have to name Gotti for the Rap community to know what was up. Yo Gotti may not have been arrested but he sure does know a lot of shooters. Understand that no one cares when Rappers get shot besides the Rap/Hip Hop community but Dolph was shot outside of a mall in Hollywood during the day. Now white folks who don’t know anything about Rap music are generalizing all of us as violent (insert derogatory term here). This is why Hip Hop is not invited to anything or winning any awards. The culture cannot progress with these types of issues. Some people group Young Thug with J. Cole simply because they “rap.” It doesn’t matter what context you Rap in and whether or not you’re a mumble Rapper or a lyricist. You’re a Rapper and Rap is violent. The mainstream stays scheming on how to keep us out of the discussion. This is why we have to fight double time just to get a feature in a commercial.
While we’re scheming trying to figure out how to get back at someone because they said something we didn’t like we’re wasting time that could be used to advance the culture. I like seeing Rap beef as much as the next person but if it’s not strictly on wax I get nervous. I was old enough to remember when 2Pac and Biggie were killed and I don’t want the culture to go through that again. As a self-proclaimed gatekeeper and Hip Hop enthusiast it’s bad enough when young men and women get gunned down right before their big break. Dead before they can make an impact. Dead before they can move their family out of the hood. Dead before they can change their life for the better. Hip Hop isn’t dead but it will be if all the Rappers and emcees remained in a cycle of violence killing each other for every little thing. Rap/Hip Hop is competitive yes but why can’t everyone from Memphis be a king? Why can’t there be multiple kings of the south? Are we fighting over titles, territory, respect, money, or do we even know why anymore?
“A fool violatin’ the business, I ain’t wit” –M.E.M.P.H.I.S. (Three 6 Mafia)