Following Young Dolph's death, a memorial adorned Makeda's Homemade Butter Cookies' boarded-up windows from top to bottom with balloons, stuffed animals, candles, Paper Route Empire T-shirts and posters with handwritten goodbyes.
Now, a permanent tribute to the artist hangs near the intersection at Dunn and Airways.
The honorary street sign reads: Adolph "Young Dolph" Thornton, Jr. Avenue.
Young Dolph's family and fans gathered for the official unveiling Wednesday afternoon at the intersection, about a mile from where the 36-year-old father was shot on Nov. 17 while at Makeda's.
More than 50 people were on hand to celebrate the renaming of Dunn between Airways and Hays.
The street is in the Castalia Heights community, where Young Dolph grew up.
"That's what I'm hoping for this community: Every time each and every person drives by the sign, they see Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. When you see that name that you're inspired to just make a difference and to just make a change, a small change in giving and loving and just being a better person for the betterment of this community," said Mia Jerdine, Dolph's life partner, while gripping her daughter's hand.
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City Councilman J.B. Smiley, who represents Super District 8-1, spearheaded the proposal to rename the street. The proposal was approved by the Memphis City Council on Dec. 7. Smiley said the renaming and ceremony are a way for the community to celebrate the life and legacy of Young Dolph as a local and national icon.
"This opportunity is for us all to come together to show support for a man who did great things, not just with his music but by supporting folks in this community and by raising his family," Smiley said.
He also urged community members to put their guns down to avoid more tragedies like this one.
"We shouldn't be here celebrating Young Dolph in his past, we should be here celebrating him as he lives today," Smiley said.
Other speakers at the event spoke to Dolph's impact as a father and community member and how they will continue to honor his legacy.
Dolph's aunt Rita Myers reminded the audience of Dolph's contributions to Memphis at large through his work donating food, visiting cancer centers in addition to plans he had for the future, including a senior citizens program.
"Those are programs that Adolph was looking forward to attending before his life was taken away. Through the IdaMae Family Foundation, through Paper Route Empire, our family, his friends and his family, I guarantee you, we guarantee you that his legacy will live on. Long live Young Dolph," Myers said.
Deravia Freeman-Rich, spokesperson for the Magnolia/Castalia Community Association, said they hope to fulfill Dolph's plans to start a Young Dolph Music Academy at Magnolia Elementary School.
On behalf of Paper Route Empire, DJ Rocksteady, Dolph's DJ, spoke on the future of the label Dolph started in 2010.
"These streets right here in this community made Paper Route Empire, birthed Paper Route Empire," he said. "I'm just thankful that the city will leave something visible, will leave something tangible. When you see that sign, it's not just a sign for Young Dolph; it's a sign for the future of this community and this city. Y'all can see that anything is possible. Paper Route Empire, we're not going nowhere. We got big plans. We got more music coming on. It's not over with. Young Dolph's legacy will live on."
The street renaming took place a day before Dolph's sold-out "Celebration of Life" public memorial service at FedExForum.
Memphis police continue to investigate Dolph's death. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-2274.
Astrid Kayembe covers South Memphis, Whitehaven and Westwood. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (901) 304-7929 or on Twitter @astridkayembe_.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Young Dolph: Memphis street renamed after slain rapper unveiled