MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you’re a Hip Hop fan, it may be difficult to still comprehend that one year ago today rap sensation Young Dolph was murdered in Memphis. The deadly shootings of high-profile rap superstars such as Young Dolph and many others are sparking a conversation about rap culture and gun violence in society.

Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parkinson who at one time worked in the music industry, specifically Hip Hop, remembers his emotions when he learned Dolph had been fatally shot in Memphis last November.

“Saddened for the family and the fact that we lost such a big talent and such a big philanthropic person when it came to the people in our community and people in our city,” Parkinson recalled. I was in my office when I first heard about it, and like everyone else in the city and nationally, actually, we were shocked that it happened.”

The city of Memphis is where Young Dolph called home. The 36-year-old rapper, whose real name was Adolph Thornton, Jr., rose through the ranks from being a mixtape star to becoming a major contender on music streaming services.

“I was a fan of his music. He brought a different style to the music and rap game, and he was one of the individuals who helped to propel Memphis to the top of the food chain when it comes to the music business in our city,” Parkinson said.

Dolph’s murder appears to be part of a national trend that has claimed the life of at least one rapper every year dating back to 2018 with the murder of XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hussle, PnB Rock, and most recently Takeoff of the group Migos.

“These young black men who are in the business of rap, they’re dying almost daily now and these are big stars, individuals that have influenced music and that are big-time entertainers across the world that are not just coming out of Memphis, but Atlanta and other places like Los Angeles and these individuals, these young men are losing their lives,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson says we must find solutions to gun violence.

“We have people who’ve been traumatized that are traumatizing others and it not only says something about the violence happening in our city but also how we’re losing these young individuals who are in the music business also,” he said.

It’s a music business problem that some say is a reflection of a bigger problem: gun violence in society and how to solve it.

“We want justice not just in Young Dolph’s case, but every case where there’s a victim of violent crime or any other crime in our city,” Parkinson said.