“Having that gang war / We want to know what you’re fighting for / Fighting over colors? / All that gang sh*t’s for dumb motherfu**ers.” – Tim Dog
Tim Dog is dead.
Before Biggie and Pac, where going at it in a war dubbed the East Coast/West Coast beef, there was Tim Dog. Now, I loved what NWA, Ice Cube, DJ Quik and those guys were doing, but, I have an eternal love for the underdog (which they were too in a different way). Maybe New York didn’t realize it at the time, but a lot of us “outsiders” shifted our eyeballs to other areas of the nation in the late 80s and early 90’s. Compton was one of those areas and we were captivated with the visuals coming through the speakers.
Tim wasn’t having it.
Tim Dog was brazen, brash and bold against some of the most talented and fearsome rappers in the game in 1991 with “F**k Compton.” But he spoke out when Dre beat up Dee Barnes, the video music host. The Ultra Magnetic affiliate talked out opposing something we East Coasters didn’t fully understand at the time – gangs. His debut album, Penicillin on Wax, was almost chiefly meant to discredit rappers from Compton and , to a lesser degree, the West Coast. He also did some outright silly stuff like dissing Kid-N-Play, cool and fun emcees. He also praised Public Enemy for no apparent reason. He apologized to Dr. Dre’s ex-girlfriend, singer Michel’le, for dissing her in “F**k Compton.” He made sure it was known he was cool with Ice Cube, Ice-T and kinda liked NWA’s MC Ren. LOL! He was all over the place sometimes. A rebel with many contradicting causes.
Fact: Tim Dog has an understated place in history. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg checked him (and inadvertently immortalized him) on “Dre Day.” A post-Ice Cube NWA sued him for using their music at on his second album ( a first at the time) so they wanted to get at him any way possible. Tiny Lister aka Deebo from “Friday” even threatened him when he moved out West. And he still bragged “I’m the illest n***a alive! Why you say? I dissed the West Coast and I moved to LA!” I can’t help but wonder if anybody is celebrating at the news of the Bronx rapper’s sudden demise.
I’m not partying. My jaw dropped last night after hearing Tim Dog (real name:Timothy Blair) was dead, from an apparent seizure.
For years, I had tried and tried and tried to interview Tim Dog. And I feel bad that I’ll never have that opportunity to do this now.
Some are going to ask why, considering I’ve been blessed to have interviewed most of the biggest names in the game through the years. Let me explain. Tim Dog was mysteriously elusive – defiantly elusive!
A few years ago, he had gotten a new record deal and it was clear that press had to be involved to re-introduce him to the game. Few people remembered “F**k Compton” or “I Get Wrecked” with KRS-One. The man refused to do any interviews until they dropped him from the label. Weird as all get out!
But, recently, he stood accused of defrauding a number of women out of thousands of dollars, a apparent attempt to fund a new album. In June, he was all the rage again for all the wrong reasons and an investigative piece by NBC’s “Dateline” dug deep. It was at this time that I started to email with Tim to get his side on record with AllHipHop. He hated the edit job and accused the network of misstating the facts. He was down to do the interview, but he just stop replying after confirming. But, just for the record, he felt terrible about the allegations against him and he had absolutely no trust left in the media. Such was Tim Dog.
On the very low, I was a huge Tim Dog fan. I can now liberate myself of that secret. He wasn’t the most talented dude, and paled to compare to those he opposed, on the real. But he had something most rappers lack…balls. Pardon the baseness of the word, but I don’t know any other way to say it. But, this man had the nerve to drop a 5-disc box set of his greatest hits. NWA, Snoop, or any of his adversaries haven’t even done that yet (even though they all could).
That’s Tim Dog. Incredibly audacious.
“First dog in the game. And the last. Believe me.” – Tim Dog
Tim Dog – “F**k Compton”
Tim Dog – “Step To Me”
Tim Dog – “I Get Wreck” featuring KRS-One