Self-Proclaimed & one of the most respected of Memphis sadly was killed, here we will remember the music that made him one of the best.
Young Dolph was one of the best coming out of Memphis. He was just starting to truly enjoy the fruits of his labor, the beginnings of his label, his younger cousin Key Glock starting to get the attention he deserves, his charity work, family life, possible retirement, a new light onto the city he gave so much too. He was just entering a Gucci Mane-esque role that we can see Gucci fully enjoying right now. His death is one of the most disappointing, because there was so much more ahead of him.
Sunshine (Prod. by DJ Squeeky)
One extremely underappreciated part of Dolph’s career was his perspective on political climate. Dolph is known for his cutthroat business mentality, but this side of his music ability isn’t highlighted enough. Songs like the “The Land” off of Rich Slave, proudly proclaim America as the Land of Bullshit. Songs like “Cold World” off of High Class Street Music 5 is a prime example of his love of his children and his insights on police brutality. “Sunshine” is a loosie, and possible one of the best songs to come out in response to COVID-19 pandemic. It displays his disdain for the at-the-time current president and how his hard work paid off giving him the ability to just live with his family. Dolph had also gone an actual mile and edited all his album covers to have masks.
16 Zips (Prod. By DJ Squeeky)
While the political tracks by Dolph are incredible, what makes Dolph who he is are songs like “16 Zips.” These songs highlight how he made his fortune, paired with one of the most interesting trap beats and his smooth yet hard voice. This song highlights his party life and love for weed, lean and the hustle it takes. While there are a bunch of rappers currently coming from Memphis (Co Cash, Key Glock, Duke Deuce, NLE Choppa to name a few), none of them deliver music with the charisma of Dolph.
Black Queen (Prod. By DJ Squeeky)
Beats aren’t what makes Dolph and this song proves it. Dolph’s talents are all in his voice and story. This song’s bareback instrumental featuring a lone piano is a song acting in dedication to his mom & dad. Despite of his hard up-bringing, he still shows his love. Its song like this that prove even after a decade in the rap game, he had so much more to say.
Dance (Paper Route Empire with Key Glock, Big Moochie Grape, Jay Fizzle, Joddy Badass, Kenny Muney & Snupe Bandz)
While the Paper Route iLLUMINATi album can just be seen as a label compilation, it will now be seen as a bittersweet moment in his career. The constant name drops to his Paper Route Empire label that he was dropping over a plethora of mixtapes, his Paper Route chains, and business ventures had all lead to this tape. This tape even features one of the last time him & longtime collaborator Gucci’s songs, in a moment that Gucci & Dolph’s careers had finally lined up perfectly with them being the leaders of their new business ventures. This song in particular was a highlight off the album, showing off all the talent from the fledgling label.
100 Shots (Prod. by DJ Squeeky)
Its impossible to talk about Dolph without the mention of “100 Shots.” Dolph’s career has never been an easy one and he’s lived on the edge. February 25th 2017 incident is one of legend, his car was shot at 100 times. The car was bulletproofed though, being able to survive the attack. This resulted in one of the most legendary album names, Bulletproof, and one of the most simplistic and legendary hooks of all time.
Kush on a Yacht (Prod. by DJ Squeeky)
The incident is not one he would let go off, rightfully so. After dropping Bulletproof, he followed it up with an EP N*ggas Get Shot Every Day. While this tape doesn’t seem to reference the incident as directly has the album, the album hits just as hard with his wealth and lifestyle flexes. His constant flexing on the industry is something that can not be done with endless dedication.
Play Wit Yo Bitch (Prod. by Zaytoven)
In one of the most memorable endings to an album ever, Dolph had brought out the heat for Yo Gotti. Proudly changing his name to Ho Gotti, he attacks Gotti’s dissing on previous mixtapes. Dolph & Gotti’s before stem from Gotti trying to sign Dolph, and Dolph turned down the deal. This further adds to Dolph’s claim of being a self-made millionaire, steering away from the 10 million dollar deal. With tons of quotes, Dolph brings a classic diss over a Zaytoven beat.
Death Row (Prod. by BandPlay)
Rich Slave is his last official solo album, and its a hell of a way to go out. Its possibly his best, with him telling his son that the world is his. While that being the case, he fears due to all the things he had to do to get to his status. The album features multiple highlights, along with Memphis’ own Juicy J providing a beat on “RNB.” Another notable moment are the skits on the album. Skits aren’t usually a notable part of an album, but on this album he speaks to a family friend that fills him in on his own father as a young man.
There’s hundreds of highlights on all his tapes. High Class Street Music 4 features more shots at Yo Gotti. Time 2 Kill has a track dedicated to his grandparents where he realizes life shouldn’t be all about money & weed but the time spent with those people. The Dum & Dummer series show his bond with his younger cousin with one of the best collaborative tapes ever. Tracking Numbers with Berner is one of the greatest weed tapes ever with Dolph going over more smooth and subtle production.
Even though Dolph isn’t here, his music is. Plenty of it too. While its criminal we won’t get anymore original music, the music we do have should be appreciated forever. His charisma, business mentality, wit and legacy will live on forever in the music he dedicated so much time to.