It feels like forever ago, but in 2019 we were officially introduced to the duo of Dum and Dummer, aka Young Dolph and Key Glock. The two South Memphis cousins, while still establishing their own vein of addictive gangsta rap that was heavily rooted in the south and the trap, were able to not-so-subtly poke fun at themselves with a project like Dum and Dummer. Dolph often showed us this dichotomy in his music and in his actions; he was both tough and good-hearted-- growing up in the streets comes with an intrinsic danger, and even with that, Dolph was still able to laugh at himself and not take himself too seriously.
"1 Hell of a Life" (per our commenter's request, too, thank you) feels like an appropriate anthem in our continued farewell to Young Dolph, who tragically passed away yesterday after being shot and killed in his hometown. It's a series of events we're still coping with as a hip-hop community, still trying to get our minds around the fact that there is no more Dolph. The leader of Paper Route EMPIRE is no longer with us.
Paper Route EMPIRE was Dolph's own imprint, one he smartly positioned himself to start when he began to distance himself from Gucci Mane and venture out for a deal of his own. He worked hard, releasing back-to-back mixtapes for years on end, and was ultimately (and infamously) offered a $22 million major label deal, which he turned down in favor of signing with EMPIRE and thus keeping his independence and his masters. Paper Route EMPIRE, the label he established alongside the distributor, was well on its way for rap game takeover, with Key Glock leading the way.
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Alongside Dolph's immediate family, Key Glock will likely be among those hit the hardest by Dolph's passing, as the two were cousins by marriage and seemingly the best of friends, outside of music industry antics. We spoke to Key Glock quite recently, and you can clearly see (/hear) the love and loyalty he had for Dolph whenever he speaks on the rapper; whom he considered his only true friend in the industry. Just as our heart breaks for Dolph's death, and Dolph's family, so too for Glock.
While we know that Dolph and Glock had a whole Dum and Dummer 3 ready to drop prior to the artist's passing, we have no idea, at this point, when that will see the light of day. So for now, as we wade through Dolph's discography in an effort to keep him in our thoughts, we'll click play on "1 Hell of a Life" and zone out to Dolph and Glock's hazy rhymes over Bandplay's trademark guitar strumming.
Yeah, bitch, I paid the price to rock this ice, uh
Tell me, what you n*ggas know 'bout sacrifice?
Yeah, I was up them late mornings and them early nights, uh
Tryna get it right and tryin' not to lose my life