Roderick Anthony Burton II (November 25, 1987 – May 18, 2009)
better known by his stage name Dolla, was an American rapper. Burton began his music career in 2000 with rap group Da Razkalz Cru under the stage name Bucklyte. The group quickly disbanded, so Burton worked as a model for the Sean John clothing line. In 2007, Burton signed to Akon’s Konvict Muzik label and used the stage name Dolla for his releases. Dolla released three singles from 2007 to 2009. One of them, “Who the Fuck is That?” (featuring Akon & T-Pain), charted on the Billboard Hot 100. On May 18, 2009, Burton was shot to death outside a shopping mall in Los Angeles, and Aubrey Berry was arrested for his murder. Berry was acquitted on all charges.
Dolla death and funeral.
Burton flew to Los Angeles to record the rest of his debut album, and he was shot on May 18, 2009, at approximately 3:10 pm by 23 year old Aubrey Louis Berry. Burton was with his “Brother” Scrapp Deleon and friend DJ Shabbazz when the incident occurred. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Later that evening, an armed Berry was detained at the Los Angeles International Airport. Witnesses say he surrendered without a struggle. His bail was set at $5 million. Bail was subsequently lowered to $1 million by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Bork in late May. Berry claimed self-defense, but Burton’s family disputed that; Burton family spokesman Dennis Byron stated that Berry traveled from Atlanta to Los Angeles with a firearm that was not licensed for use in California. This following a prior altercation between the two men in an Atlanta nightclub on May 7, 2009 where Berry was beaten and kicked by a group of men that included Burton. Howard Price, Berry’s lawyer, said that Burton threatened Mr. Berry at the restaurant at the Beverly Center, and after Mr. Berry left, he noticed that Burton and two other men were following him to his car and after an exchange of words he thought that Burton was reaching to get a weapon. It was then that Mr. Berry shot him four times in self-defense, Burton later died from a bullet wound that pierced his heart. No gun was recovered from Burton’s body or at the crime scene but Mr. Price has suggested that Burton’s friend removed a weapon prior to the police’s arrival at the scene.
On May 22, Berry was charged with murder and assault, although he pleaded not guilty. It was mentioned that Burton had ties to a West Los Angeles street gang known as the Mansfield Gangster Crips. As the murder trial wrapped up prior to jury deliberation, the defendant’s attorney, Howard Price, made much of Burton’s gangsta rap lyrics and videos with gang members to paint the victim as a violent gang member and thug who attacked his client. Prosecutors countered that Burton’s gang ties are irrelevant and that his music is simply entertainment and part of a culture where violence sells records. On May 21, 2010, a jury acquitted Berry of first degree murder and all other charges, including assault with a firearm.
Burton’s funeral was held May 23 in the Word of Faith Love Center in the East Point neighborhood of Atlanta.
The funeral was held in a Muslim style, known as Janazah. He was buried in Atlanta’s Westview Cemetery. Singer T-Pain recently paid homage to the slain rapper by having a mural of Burton painted on the hood of his vintage car. Additionally, a YouTube video using unreleased Dolla song “Georgia Nights” has been made as a tribute to him. Jay Rock sent his prayers and condolences to Burton’s family and stated that these kinds of acts have to stop. Rapper Tyga produced a song called “R.I.P Dolla” on his mixtape The Potential. Throughout the following week after his death, Adult Swim opened up a bumper, saying “Dolla [1987-2009]“.