Young Dolph hit the rap scene in 2016 with his debut studio album, King of Memphis. He was widely known for his mixtape releases both before and after he began recording in studios, cultivating a massive cult following online. What other rapper do you know that survives a shootout, then makes a song about it, or travels hundreds of miles to give two random people 20 “Gs”?
Young Dolph would, unfortunately, be taken from us after a shooting in 2021, cutting short one of the most promising young rap careers. In this article, we’ll take a look at 15 of the best songs Young Dolph ever produced during his short career.
Major served as the lead single for Young Dolph’s 2018 album Role Model and was one of his biggest hits to date. It covers the rapper’s rise from poverty to being a successful and wealthy rapper and features a verse from Key Glock representing Paper Route Empire.
Overall, the song was a widespread success. The music video has over one million streams online, and it almost broke onto the US Billboard Hot 100 when it peaked at number one on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It fared better on genre-specific charts, though, peaking at number 47 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.
2. 1 Scale
1 Scale can make a pretty good argument for being Young Dolph’s best song. It’s one of his most-streamed tunes and is trap to its core. Funnily enough, the song covers everything Young Dolph loves, from banging other “dudes'” girlfriends to getting rich.
It’s classic Young Dolph and an absolutely essential track if you’re trying to figure out which of his songs is the best. It’s a mid-tempo song, perfect for relaxing after a long day, and a good entry point for Young Dolph’s music.
3. Money Power Respect
It’s a pretty common theme for rappers to talk about everything wealth has brought them after they come up. Money Power Respect is a bit of a different take on it, though, making Young Dolph stand out in a sea of rappers that go on and on about love, sex, and money. It’s a defining track for Dolph, talking about how he doesn’t trust anyone and that his wealth is what would help him survive on the streets rather than what would help him leave them.
4. Gimme My Bag
Of all of the songs Young Dolph has released, no other single rose to the top of his fans’ favorite list like Gimme My Bag. It’s a flex song about the hard work Dolph put in to reach the fame he was at when it was released while also demanding what he knows he deserves. The whole point of the song was to motivate his listeners, get his own bag, and remind everyone that hard work is what leads to success.
5. 100 Shots
Every rapper releases a song that dismisses their haters at some point. It’s a natural progression in the game. But not everyone releases a song like that after surviving a shootout.
Young Dolph released 100 Shots right after his bulletproof car was sprayed with over a hundred bullets in 2017, calling out his haters and producing a worldwide sensation that laughed in the face of the people who wanted him dead.
6. On The River
On The River saw Young Dolph team up with Wiz Khalifa to produce one of the catchiest songs he ever put out. It, unfortunately, appeared on Dolph’s final mixtape Gelato in 2017, serving as one of the least serious entries to the tape. It’s all about having a good time with your friends and the pleasures of being a rapper on the come-up, not hiding a lot of messages within its lyrics.
Young Dolph’s personal struggles and obstacles come up a lot in his songs, and Preach is no different. It takes a hard, realistic look at the ways his family had to get by as he grew up and lays bare the anxiety-inducing events that led to his current trust issues.
Preach is one of the most popular songs among his loyal fans, as it’s something they can relate to and reminds people that no matter their situation, they’re not alone.
8. Play Wit Yo Bitch
Striving for your goals and working hard is the key to success for Young Dolph, a theme that runs through a lot of the songs on this list. Play Wit Yo Bitch is a bit of a clap back from Dolph to his haters, furthering his King of Memphis identity and telling everyone that he’s his own boss and anyone who gets in his way will be obliterated. While many of his songs are inspirational or sentimental, this one is just an aggressive, in-your-face single that we absolutely loved.
9. No Sense
No Sense is one of the key tracks you need to listen to if you want to get into Young Dolph’s work. Speaking of key, it saw him working with long-term collaborator Key Glock to make one of his career’s heaviest, tensest, and most dramatic tracks. You can find it on Young Dolph’s Rich Slave album, his fifth studio album and the last to be released before his tragic death.
10. Water on Water on Water
Water on Water on Water sees Dolph teaming up with Key Glock yet again to produce one of the most technically impressive songs in his catalog and earning both rappers a song that went straight up the charts. It’s mostly about flaunting wealth and one of the less serious Young Dolph songs out there, but it really puts the talent he and Key Glock have on full display.
11. By Mistake
Sometimes a fan-favorite song ends up being one of an artist’s best works. By Mistake was one of those for Young Dolph, finding instant acclaim with his fans after it was released. It got such a big wave of popularity it all but forced Dolph to release an entirely new mixtape in response. A major flexing song, it shows the side of Dolph we see in more serious works, where buying some of the crazy things his wealth now allows him to just doesn’t make sense to him (but he does it anyway).
12. While U Here
While You Here is one of the best examples of Dolph putting on his storyteller cap and making something that was incredibly relatable, it’s probably Young Dolph’s most sentimental song, rapping about real-life issues and becoming popular for actually going into family problems, betrayal, and the thought of his own mortality. It’s a standout song that reminds older folks to be good examples for the younger generation and to leave behind a legacy you can be proud of.
Young Dolph was known for his signature Memphis rap style and focus on money over everything, but Sunshine kind of bucked that trend. It showed Young Dolph at his most philosophical, touching on all kinds of events in 2020, from pandemic lockdowns to Donald Trump being the president. It was sad, too, showing a kind of yearning for something positive to happen in the world and using the sun shining through the clouds as a metaphor for those good times to come.
14. To Be Honest
To Be Honest is a great song for two reasons. The first is that the beat is perfect for any dance party you happen to be throwing. The second is that it’s a fairly deep song if you listen to the lyrics closely. It’s a song that sees Dolph showing gratitude for all he’s been blessed with while also patting himself on the back for having ground so hard to make it that far. To Be Honest then reminds everyone never to forget where they came from and that hard work will bring them their dreams.
15. Get Paid
Get Paid was originally one of the standout tracks of Young Dolph’s mixtape Shittin’ On The Industry, but would be included on his debut LP King Of Memphis. It’s all about getting the bag and prioritizing making money over everything else, as it’s the entire point of the “grind” lifestyle. Interesting note: two kids got kicked out of a campus coffee shop for playing the song in 2018, and Young Dolph gave them $20,000 as thanks for representing him.
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As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.