Tim Dog was a rapper from the Bronx who rose to fame in the early 1990s with his debut album Penicillin on Wax and the controversial diss track “Fuck Compton”. He was also a notorious con artist who scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting women online. In 2013, he was reported to have died from a seizure related to diabetes, but some people doubted his death and suspected he faked it to avoid paying restitution to his victims. After more than a year of speculation and investigation, the mystery of Tim Dog’s death was finally solved in 2014.
The Con Man
Tim Dog, whose real name was Timothy Blair, had a successful rap career in the 1990s, but his fame faded in the 2000s. He turned to online dating and used his celebrity status to lure women into giving him money for various reasons, such as investing in music projects, paying for medical bills, or helping him out of legal troubles. One of his victims was Esther Pilgrim, a single mother from Mississippi who met Tim Dog on an online dating site in 2007. He convinced her to invest $32,000 in a fake concert tour in Europe, promising her a share of the profits and a romantic relationship. He also asked her for more money for his daughter’s education, his mother’s funeral, and his own health issues. Pilgrim eventually realized she was being scammed and reported Tim Dog to the authorities.
In 2011, Tim Dog pleaded guilty to grand larceny and was sentenced to five years of probation. He was also ordered to pay Pilgrim $19,000 in restitution. He made some payments, but stopped after a few months.
On February 14, 2013, The Source magazine announced that Tim Dog had died from a seizure caused by complications of diabetes. The news was confirmed by his collaborator Kool Keith and his publicist Bill Adler. A memorial service was planned in Harlem, and donations were requested via a PayPal account that would benefit Blair’s daughter.
However, some people were skeptical about Tim Dog’s death. Pilgrim, who had stopped receiving payments from Blair, suspected he had faked his death to avoid paying her back. She contacted Dateline NBC and hired a private investigator to look into the matter. They found out that there was no death certificate or autopsy report for Blair, and that the funeral was canceled. They also discovered that Blair had multiple aliases and addresses, and that he had scammed other women in different states and countries.
The story of Tim Dog’s alleged death hoax gained media attention and sparked an investigation by the authorities. A Mississippi prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Blair in May 2013, stating that he would have to prove his death or face arrest. Blair’s wife Alexandra, who had married him in 2012, stayed away from the media and did not provide any evidence of her husband’s death. She claimed she had religious reasons for keeping her privacy and mourning in silence.
Meanwhile, some rappers who knew Tim Dog also doubted his death and expressed their opinions on social media and music platforms. A few months after Blair’s memorial service, a track called “Falsified” appeared online featuring the vocals of the supposedly dead Tim Dog himself. The song seemed to mock his critics and celebrate his escape from justice.
After more than a year of uncertainty and controversy, the mystery of Tim Dog’s death was finally resolved in September 2014. Dateline NBC obtained a copy of Blair’s death certificate from DeKalb County, Georgia, confirming that he had indeed died on February 14, 2013, as initially reported. The cause of death was listed as diabetes mellitus type II with complications including seizure disorder and hypertension.
The death certificate put an end to the speculation that Tim Dog had faked his death and revealed that he had actually been living in Georgia with his wife at the time of his death. It also showed that he had been cremated and that his ashes were given to his wife.
The confirmation of Tim Dog’s death brought closure to some of his victims, who had been hoping for justice or restitution. Pilgrim said she felt relieved that he was not alive and scamming other women. She also said she forgave him for what he did to her.
Tim Dog’s legacy as a rapper and a con artist remains controversial and fascinating. He was a pioneer of hardcore hip hop and a provocateur of rap feuds. He was also a master manipulator and a ruthless swindler. He left behind a trail of music, money, and mystery that will not be easily forgotten.