On this day, May 23rd, in hip-hop history...


2013: Initially, it looked like hip-hop had lost another icon.

Born Timothy Blair, Bronx emcee Tim Dog rose to prominence on tracks with Ultramagnetic MCs, and went on to form a duo with Kool Keith. In 1990, he released “Fuck Compton,” still considered a one of the most ruthless diss tracks ever put down on wax. His debut album took shots at everyone from Dr. Dre to Kid ‘n Play.

In 2011, Tim Dog plead guilty to grand larceny after conning a woman out of thousands of dollars through an Internet scam. He was ordered to pay back $19,000 to Mississippi resident Esther Pilgrim. But less than two years later, it was reported that Tim Dog had died of complications from diabetes.

Something didn’t add up, though. Nobody could produce Tim Dog’s death certificate or autopsy, and plans for a funeral were quickly cancelled. Pilgrim alleged that Tim Dog had faked his own death to avoid paying her back, and that the rapper would owe more than $2 million to other “investors” that he had duped online.

A private investigator confirmed an active Atlanta address for Tim Dog as of April 2013, while prosecutor Steven Jubera issued a warrant for Tim Dog’s arrest in Mississippi. No new developments have been made, and both sides still clearly need closure from a bizarre series of events.—Steven Goldstein