Dolph (real name, Adolph Thornton Jr.) was shot in Los Angeles outside the Lowes Hollywood hotel on Tuesday.
Kyleah Dunn, USA Today Network – Tennessee
MEMPHIS — The relationship between Memphis rappers Yo Gotti and Young Dolph, and the tensions between the two artists, have been a major story line in Memphis hip-hop for the better part of the last three years.
Dolph (real name, Adolph Thornton Jr.) was shot in Los Angeles outside the Lowes Hollywood hotel on Tuesday. Subsequent media reports suggested the incident was somehow the result of a long running musical and personal feud with another Memphis MC, Yo Gotti (real name, Mario Mims).
The Los Angeles Police Department has twice denied to The Commercial Appeal that Gotti — who was staying at the same hotel as Dolph — is a person of interest in the investigation. On Wednesday, Corey McClendon of Memphis was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Police said they do not know if McClendon and Gotti are associates. However, McClendon and Gotti were both arrested in 2010 after five people were shot in the parking lot of Level II nightclub in Memphis.
The charges against Gotti were dropped in the 2010 brawl due to a lack of witnesses. McClendon was shot during the brawl.
In Tuesday’s shooting, Dolph was critically injured, but is expected to survive. It’s the second time he’s been shot this year. In February, he was fired at in Charlotte, N.C. Gotti associate, Blac Youngsta (real name, Sammie Benson), was among the men charged in that incident.
Though it’s never been confirmed — by both parties, anyway — the roots of the feud likely began in 2014, when Dolph — then just emerging as a mixtape artist — began saying publicly that he’d turned down an offer to join Gotti’s CMG record label.
Still, the Dolph-Gotti beef remained a background issue as Gotti’s star began to rise. Gotti, who got his start in the mid-’90s as one of the city’s quintessential street rappers, released the breakout LP The Art of Hustle in 2016. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard album charts, hit No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts, and quickly proved a breakthrough for the veteran MC. The album would go on to spawn a top five rap and top 20 pop single in Down in the DM that has been certified platinum….