Crime & Courts

Rapper who survived 100 bullets in uptown Charlotte returning for CIAA tournament

Rapper Young Dolph, the alleged target of 100 bullets fired in uptown Charlotte during last year’s CIAA college basketball tournament, is scheduled to appear in the Queen City during this week’s tournament as well, media outlets reported.

Charlotte Magazine lists the Memphis-based rapper as among 50 celebrities paid to host or perform at events surrounding the week-long tournament.

Young Dolph mentions nothing online about a Charlotte appearance, according to an Observer check of his scheduled upcoming appearances.

Flyers on social media, however, feature him at an adult nightclub during the tournament, according to Charlotte TV station WCNC.

“I’m hoping someone’s had a chat with this guy, and there’s an expectation the city is watching,” City Council member Julie Eiselt told the station. “The issues in the past have been around people coming in for these unsanctioned parties.”

At about 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2017, bullets were fired in the 600 block of North Caldwell Street, according to a police report. Bullets hit multiple homes and vehicles indiscriminately. No one was hurt. The bullets were fired about 30 minutes before the final game of the CIAA tournament at the nearby Spectrum Center.

Police later recovered about 100 spent shell casings from the road, fired from various guns and a rifle. They also found two bullet-ridden SUVs on Parkwood Drive with tires blown out on both; the front and rear windows of one of them were shattered, the Observer reported. White tissues stained with what appeared to be blood also were found outside one of the vehicles, according to court documents.

By the next morning, several national hip-hop-related websites reported that one of the targets was Young Dolph, who was in town for an unofficial CIAA party/concert at Cameo Charlotte nightclub, the Observer reported. At the time, CIAA commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said the shootout was not connected to the tournament.

Social media chatter speculated that the shootout stemmed from animosity between Young Dolph and Yo Gotti, 36. Dolph tweeted “U loose” next to a laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji less than 18 hours after the incident. And he would later boast that the black SUV he was traveling in when the shooting took place had been custom-bulletproofed at a cost of $300,000, the Observer reported.

Videos also surfaced of one of Yo Gotti’s artists, rapper Blac Youngsta, and others taunting and making threats against Young Dolph while brandishing firearms, apparently made before the shootout.

Asked by hip-hop magazine XXL in March 2017 who he thought targeted him, Dolph said, “I got no clue. I really don’t even give a damn.”

Dolph soon released the album “Bulletproof,” with numerous references to the Charlotte shooting.

Last May, Memphis-based rapper Blac Youngsta and two other men turned themselves in at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in connection with the hail of bullets three months earlier.

Sammie Benson
Sammie Benson Mecklenburg County jail

Youngsta, whose real name is Sammie Benson, faces six counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling and felony conspiracy.

Young Dolph also was injured in a shooting that sent police and paramedics flooding into Hollywood Boulevard’s tourist center on Sept. 26.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak