‘He changed Memphis music forever’: Local hip-hop artist reflects on Young Dolph’s death

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 4:58 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One local hip-hop artist is reflecting on the legacy of Young Dolph one year after he was tragically killed.

The Memphis music scene has always had a major impact on the rest of the country.

Memphis has several well-known greats who have transformed the music industry, including Elvis, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King.

Memphis hip-hop is making its own mark, and Young Dolph was a part of that.

“He was a real cool laid-back guy,” Louis Cole said. Cole has been in the music industry for 24 years.

He spends most of his time outside of One Sound Studio, the South Memphis recording studio that he owns.

Cole is also a sound engineer. He encountered Young Dolph in and outside of the studio.

Cole says Young Dolph was kind and authentic.

“I desperately remember so many of them on his level, having such an attitude or you know, or feeling like they’re above everyone when they’re in the room. Nah, not Dolph,” Cole said.

It’s part of the reason the young rapper’s death still hurts one year later.

“It was heavy,” he said. I was in the studio recording at the time, and I promise you... everything just froze.”

For a time, so did Memphis rap.

Cole says many stopped collaborating on music often in fear of who they could trust following Dolph’s murder.

Cole says as time has passed, there’s since been a shift.

“People [are] just letting folks in now,” he said. “It’s like, ‘you do that’ oh ok, I mess with you, rock with you... let’s do something,” Cole said. “Memphis is really pulling it together now, I mean really pulling it together in a big way, and that’s why you see so many talented artists starting to get on now.”

From artists like Big Boogie and Grammy-nominated GloRilla, Cole says he loves where Memphis rap music is headed, he’s just heartbroken Young Dolph isn’t here to see it.

“It’s exciting when, you know, people go and see them on stage with these big artists doing these big features... and the crazy part about it, they send it right back here to us,” he said.

Cole said Memphis’ rap scene has become like a family, and he hopes people will continue honoring Dolph’s life through collaboration and support.

“He’s in a better place,” he said. “He changed Memphis music forever.”

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.