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Young Dolph honored with pop-up museum

Memphis music artist Young Dolph’s positive impact on his community and his incredible influence on the music world is being honored with the Dolphland Pop-up Museum this month.

The tribute museum for the late rapper opened May 5 at the Agricenter International, 7777 N. Walnut Grove just north of Germantown Parkway.

The museum will be open Friday through Sunday (May 12-14) and May 19-21. The museum will also be open May 26, but closed May 27, and reopen again May 28, as part of a final day that will include a Celebrity Car Show event hosted by DJ Envy. 

Young Dolph rose to fame with his hard-hitting lyrics, catchy beats, and unapologetic attitude. In addition to being a force of nature on the mic, Young Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Thornton Jr., also was known for mentoring troubled youths, giving back to his community, and helping young artists jumpstart their rap careers. 

So, on Nov.17, 2021, when he was tragically gunned down inside of Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies on Airways Boulevard near Interstate 240, it was undoubtedly a sad day for Memphis, the hip-hop community, and many people around the world. 

The Dolphland Pop-up Museum gives fans an opportunity to celebrate the life and career of Young Dolph. It celebrates the creativity, music, and legacy of the rapper, who titled himself King of Memphis. 

A young visitor to the Dolphland Pop-up Museum writes her tribute to the late Memphis rapper Young Dolph. (Photos: William Weeks/The New Tri-State Defender)

The late rapper’s record label, Paper Route Empire, and the pioneering hip-hop museum, Trap Music Museum co-founded the temporary exhibition space. 

Dolphland has toured nationally since January, in conjunction with the release of Dolph’s posthumous album Paper Route Frank.” 

As soon as you enter the museum, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a corner store, complete with a selection of Dolphland goods for sale.

The second activation that shows where the rapper created his music is a section with a painting of the door to Dolph’s apartment.

“You only get one shot at life, one life to live, make the most out of it and put as many smiles on people’s faces as you can, help as many people as you can, get you some paper.” – Young Dolph (Photo: William Weeks/The New Tri-State Defender)

Visitors can also relive some of the most momentous times in Dolph’s life and career, from the very beginning through his tragic end, including his camo Corvette he drove to Makeda’s. 

The museum highlights original curated art and personal items that reflect Young Dolph’s lyricism, personality, entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropy, and historic moments from his legendary career. 

In addition to a blue room highlighting Dolph’s hit records and a detailed statue of the late rapper, the museum included a section with his platinum and gold records, the outfits he wore, and other pastimes Dolph mentioned in his music. 

At Dolphland Pop-up Museum, visitors can relive some of the most momentous times in Young Dolph’s life and career, from the very beginning through his tragic end. (Photo: William Weeks/The New Tri-State Defender)

Visitors can also stop by the Paper Route Entertainment room to take pictures in a setting reminiscent of his “Paper Route Frank” album cover.

“Honestly the exhibit made me a little sad,” said Ladia Yates, professional dancer, and owner of L.Y.E Academy. “Things weren’t supposed to be this way. It only reminded me how much work we have to do in the city of Memphis.”

Tickets to the Dolphland pop-up museum are $40 per person and available at Thedolphlandmuseum.com.

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