In February 2013, word spread that Bronx rapper Tim Dog died of a diabetic seizure at the age of 46. While the hip-hop community mourned the loss of the rapper famous for “Fuck Compton” and his work with Kool Keith, within weeks rumors spread that Tim Dog may have faked his death. It wouldn’t seem that out of character for the rapper — who’d seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to a two-hour NBC Dateline special that covered his nefarious recent years of scamming women on dating sites out of money — to pull off the ultimate con, but this week Dateline‘s further investigation may have put the rumors to rest for good.
See also: Rapper Tim Dog May Have Faked His Death
Allegations of Tim Dog, real name Timothy Blair, faking his death weren’t mere tabloid speculation. Rather, the case was so strong that three months after his death, DeSoto County, Mississippi, issued a warrant for his arrest. Prosecutor Steven Jubera, who had previously convicted Blair of grand larceny while he was alive, believed Tim Dog may have faked his death to get out of paying back the many women he defrauded out of thousands of dollars. He, along with one of Blair’s victims, Esther Pilgrim, and Dateline have been on the hunt to track down Tim Dog for over a year.
It’s quite possible that the always controversial Tim Dog had prepared for his eventual death to be the subject of such speculation. Along with frequent collaborators Kool Keith and TR Love offering “no comment” when interviewers would express sympathy toward the perceived loss of their companion, nobody in Blair’s family, including his wife, Alexandra, would willingly produce a proper death certificate. Couple that with the abrupt cancellation of Blair’s public memorial service and the mysterious emergence and disappearance of a “memorial fund” for his daughter, and suddenly the death of Tim Dog becomes one of hip-hop’s most peculiar mysteries.
Adding fuel to the fire was the release last summer of a new Tim Dog single, “Falsified,” a track where Tim Dog and company brag about his still being alive. Even more curious was the circumstance of Tim Dog’s fabled multi-CD Greatest Hits collection, the cornerstone of the alleged scams seen in the Dateline special, suddenly emerging on streaming services.
After over a year of research, Pilgrim uncovered the truth. The trail led her to Blair’s residences in Georgia, where she eventually discovered he’d been treated at Atlanta Medical Center before being discharged to Hospice Atlanta. From there, some sleuthing around funeral homes led to Blair’s death certificate finally turning up. According to the DeKalb County Board of Health, Blair did expire, on February 14, 2013. Under law, death certificates are filed in the county of death, leaving no record of the deceased Blair in any of his places of residence.
In perhaps his final swindle, Blair’s cremation was paid for by the county.
While the death certificate may seem like the ultimate closing chapter in the book of Tim Dog, it’s possible some fans will presume this is only further evidence of Blair’s passing being the most believable faked death in hip-hop history.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 17, 2014