As long as there have been celebrity deaths, there have been celebrity death sightings. A quick Internet search will turn up allegations of people spotting Elvis Presley in the steamy Memphis heat, or Jim Morrison in a Parisian cafe. There are those who would swear on a stack of polygraph machines that Tupac Shakur is alive and well, or that it's actually Andy Kaufman underneath the Tony Clifton makeup.
Usually the celebrity in question is safely deceased. In the case of rapper Tim Dog, however, it's looking more and more likely that rumors of his February 2013 death have been greatly exaggerated.
See Also: - Bronx Rapper Tim Dog, RIP
Tim Dog's "Fuck Compton"
Born Tim Blair, the Bronx-bred Dog got his start with local crew Ultramagnetic MCs. In 1991, he released "Fuck Compton," a blunt East Coast response to N.W.A, DJ Quik, and the other California rappers stealing New York's thunder. As remarkable today as it was then, "Fuck Compton" comes across with all the brute force of a club to the head. Dog's delivery is gruff and over the top, with a lisp as ridiculous and malevolent as Mike Tyson's. You can hear him actually getting madder and madder throughout the track. It was the opening salvo in the coastal rap wars that plagued much of the 1990s. Dr. Dre responded in 1993 with "Fuck With Dre Day (And Everyone's Celebratin')." "Your bark was loud, but your bite wasn't vicious," Snoop Dogg calmly explained, "and them rhymes you were kicking were quite bootylicious."
Dog followed up with Penicillin on Wax, basically an album-length expansion of "Fuck Compton." After another album and a half-hearted Snoop diss ("Bitch with A Perm"), Dog faded into obscurity, occasionally resurfacing with news of a new album or an Ultramagnetic MCs reunion.
In his rhymes, Dog bragged of having "game" with the ladies. This boast came all too true over the past year or two. He had been in the news for picking up women through online dating sites, inviting them down to his Atlanta home, and swindling them for as much money as possible. One of his targets reported him to the police, and he was ultimately convicted of grand larceny. Last summer, Dateline NBC presented the whole pathetic story in the hour-long episode "The Perfect Catch." Dog, of course, denied the whole thing on camera.
Then, on Valentine's Day, Dog was reported as having died from a diabetes-related seizure. The usual plethora of online tributes followed. Last week, however, Memphis' WREG-TV interviewed Esther Pilgrim, one of his victims. She claimed that Dog had, in fact, faked his own death to avoid paying restitution. WREG did some digging, even bringing in a private investigator. According to this investigator, not only was there no death certificate filed for a Tim Blair, but there was apparently an Atlanta address for Blair, active since April.
This week, the AllHipHop site allegedly heard from one of Dog's relatives. Not only did this unnamed source confirm the lack of a death certificate, but apparently no one actually saw the body at his "funeral." Apparently Ced Gee, a member of the Ultramagnetic MCs, refused to speak at Dog's funeral due to this ambiguity. All of this was enough for a Mississippi prosecutor to revoke Dog's probation and issue an arrest warrant.
We couldn't find anything online to confirm or deny Dog's whereabouts. The Social Security Death Index does not have any record of a "Timothy Blair" with a death date of February 14, 2013, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't such a record on file. The website timdogmusic.com was last updated in October of 2012, more than three months prior to his alleged death. Again, however, this isn't proof of anything, except for a possible lazy webmaster.
If his family, friends and victims are to be believed, however, appears that Tim Dog may be alive, well, and continuing to act "simplistic, imperialistic, idealistic, and kicking the ballistics." We like to think he's taken out a large insurance policy under an assumed name, a la Krusty the Clown's "Rory B. Bellows" alter ego. Should Dog return, he'll be on the hook for about $2 million in payments to his victims. Whatever the outcome, it will be the culmination of one of the strangest episodes in hip-hop history. We'll keep an eye on this story.