MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One year ago, the music world found out that rap superstar Young Dolph had died in a shooting in Memphis and it was a day the Shelby County District Attorney General says put the city’s violent crime problem back in the spotlight.

The rapper, whose real name is Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., was buying cookies at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies on Nov. 17, 2021, when gunmen drove up and shot him.

Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith have been in and out of court charged with first-degree murder and other charges. Both defendants are currently being held without bond.

Justin Johnson and Cornelius Smith in court

Last week, 43-year-old Hernandez Govan was indicted by a grand jury for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Govan is accused of ordering the hit on the late rapper and is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Hernandez Govan (Courtesy: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office)

Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy recently told WREG that Dolph’s murder unfortunately showed the world the ongoing violent crime problem in Memphis.

“The national and international attention that some of these high-profile cases got, of course, is unfortunate because it shows to the rest of the country and the world the wrong side of Memphis, and you know there’s so much that’s good about Memphis and Shelby County,” Mulroy said, “But really all it does is remind us and underscores what we’ve known for years.”

Dolph, known to fans as the “King of Memphis”, gained massive commercial success with his baritone voice and memorable verses mixing humor and darkness, He remained deeply connected to his South Memphis community, often mentoring other local talents.

District Attorney Mulroy recently told WREG his office has a message for Memphis along with Dolph’s family and fans that those responsible for the rapper’s death will be held accountable.

“Here’s the message and it’s loud and clear: both law enforcement and this office take these cases very seriously and we’re going to work tirelessly in order to see that justice is done so that in the long term we can bend the curve on violent crime in Shelby County,” Mulroy said.