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  • Writer's pictureCharles Luberisse

Album Review: Young Dolph & Paper Route Empire - PAPER ROUTE iLLUMINATi

Written By: Mike Double G


My Rating = 70% or 3.5 ️

HipHopDX Rating = 64%

Pitchfork Rating = 68%

Tracklist - 1 hour 19 minutes

  1. Talking To My Scale 4:38 ️

  2. Blu Boyz (Young Dolph, PRE, & Key Glock Feat. Snupe Bandz) 4:11 ️

  3. Beat It (Young Dolph, PRE, & Bigg Unccc) 3:19

  4. I Do This (PRE, Key Glock, & Gucci Mane) 2:58 ️

  5. Back to Back (PRE & Bigg Unccc) 2:33

  6. Remember (PRE & Snupe Bandz) 3:40

  7. Mister Glock 2 (PRE & Key Glock) 3:03 ️

  8. Bandaid (PRE, Key Glock, & Snupe Bandz) 3:10 ️

  9. Non Stop (PRE & Big Moochie Grape) 2:59 ️

  10. Dance (Young Dolph, PRE, & Key Glock Feat. Snupe Bandz, Kenny Muney, Joddy Badass, Jay Fizzle, & Big Moochie Grape) 5:32

  11. 333 (PRE & Joddy Badass) 2:55

  12. Ashtray (Young Dolph, PRE, & Kenny Muney) 1:57

  13. Standing Ovation (PRE & Big Moochie Grape) 3:00

  14. Big Ol Racks (PRE, Key Glock, & PaperRoute Woo) 3:22

  15. Dead Body (Young Dolph, PRE, & Bigg Unccc ft. PaperRoute Woo) 4:35

  16. Broccoli & Cheese (PRE & Key Glock) 2:21 ️

  17. Trust Nobody (Young Dolph, PRE, & PaperRoute Woo Feat. Snupe Bandz) 4:08

  18. Here We Go (Young Dolph, PRE, & Jay Fizzle Feat. Snupe Bandz) 3:51

  19. Show Out (Young Dolph, PRE, & Snupe Bandz) 3:26

  20. Freeze Tag (PRE & Key Glock) 2:28 ️

  21. Nothing To Me (Young Dolph, Snupe Bandz, & PaperRoute Woo) 4:18

  22. South Memphis Rugrats (Young Dolph, PRE, & Snupe Bandz Feat. PaperRoute Woo) 3:13

  23. iLLUMINATi BUSINESS (PRE & Big Moochie Grape) 2:28

Young Dolph lost his life on November 17th 2021. The Memphis rapper who’s real name is Adolph Robert Thornton was shot and killed while he was picking up cookies for his mother at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies. Dolph was back in his hometown to do charity work. Every year before Thanksgiving Dolph would give a away Turkey’s to the poor. Just recently Dolph and his cousin/artist Key Glock were feuding with Soulja Boy via the internet. The feud began after Key Glock claimed he was the first artist with a 3D billboard. Soulja Boy said that Glock copied him and that he was a real independent artist unlike Young Dolph. Dolph is an independent artist but does have a distribution deal with Empire. You could make an argument for both sides but the real question is whether this disagreement was enough to start a real beef that led to the killing of Young Dolph. I don’t think this is the case. The killer is more likely to be one of the many enemies Young Dolph had in Memphis.

Young Dolph and Yo Gotti have had a long standing beef for many years now. Before the beef Yo Gotti tried to sign Dolph to his label CMG. In an interview with The Breakfast Club Dolph stated that he didn’t like how Gotti put down his other artists in an attempt to sign him. Dolph wanted to stay independent and start his own label. Dolph’s label is called Paper Route Empire. PRE released its first compilation project just a few months ago. The project is titled PAPER ROUTE iLLUMINATi and includes Snupe Bandz, Bigg Unccc, Big Moochie Grape, Kenny Muney, Joddy Badass, PaperRoute Woo, Jay Fizzle, and of course his cousin by marriage, Key Glock. Glock was not the only rapper Dolph was related to. Dolph was born in Chicago and the late Juice Wrld was his second cousin. Key is the best of the group but Big Moochie Grape shows the most promise of the other members in the group. Gucci Mane is also on the project as he has a feature on the song I Do This. Besides being close with Dolph he also has a reason to not like Yo Gotti as there were rumors that Gotti slept with his wife Keyshia Ka’Oir.

In 2016 Young Dolph released his debut album titled King of Memphis. Yo Gotti and Blac Youngsta took offense to the title which led to Youngsta releasing a diss track aimed at Dolph called SHAKE SUM. This led to Dolph releasing his own diss track targeted at Yo Gotti. Gotti responded with his own track which led to Dolph releasing a video for song titled Play Wit Yo’ Bitch. There were rumors that Dolph had been intimate with the mother of Gotti’s child. The day after the video was released Dolph’s vehicle was shot up in Charlotte, North Carolina. The car was shot over 100 times but no one was hurt since the car was bulletproof. Blac Youngsta and two other men were arrested but the charges were later dropped because of the lack evidence. Dolph used the publicity to drop his second LP titled Bulletproof. Later that year Young Dolph was shot multiple times but survived the attack. Once again Dolph took advantage of the attempt on his life by dropping an EP titled Niggas Get Shot Everyday.

Fans and people in the industry will immediately point the finger at Yo Gotti and possibility even Soulja Boy. While Gotti seems like the better possibility it probably wasn’t neither of the two. Both Gotti and Soulja have too much money and it doesn’t make much sense to risk it all over petty beef. What made Dolph so popular was his authenticity. You could tell by his lyrics that he really lived the street life he talked about in his songs. I think the killer was more likely to be an enemy from the past who was jealous of Dolph’s success, money, and fame. It could have also been just a couple of guys trying to make a name for themselves.

Key Glock has been taking the lost particularly hard. The cousins were more like brothers and also had two mixtapes together titled Dum and Dummer and Dum and Dummer 2. D&D2 was released in March and the two also did the heavy lifting on the PRE project “PAPER ROUTE iLLUMINATi” which dropped over the summer. Glock also dropped his solo project Yellow Tape 2 just a couple weeks ago. Like most artists Glock was using his Instagram to promote his album. However, album sales are clearly not the first thing on his mind as he deleted his Instagram account entirely.

The worst part of Dolph’s death is that a few months ago he talked about retiring. While many rappers talk about retirement then reconsider. I think Dolph would have at least taken a step back to focus on the artists signed to his label. Many rappers showed there respect for Young Dolph by posting to social media. Some of those rappers include Westside Gunn, Gucci Mane, Juicy J, and Project Pat. Westside Gunn even reposted a comment from four years ago when he said Young Dolph was his favorite rapper. Dolph will forever be a legend in the south and especially in the city of Memphis. Dolph is survived by his two children Tre Tre and Aria as well as his partner Mia Jaye. Dolph was murdered in his hometown just like Nipsey Hussle and XXXTENTACION. If there is anything to be learned from this tragedy it is that artists should do what they can to leave there home city and try to leave there past behind. Especially, an artist like like Young Dolph who actually lived that life.

Best Song = “Mister Glock 2” (PRE & Key Glock)

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