Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Arrest warrant for 'dead' rapper

Timothy Blair, aka rapper Tim Dog, was sentenced in 2011 to 14 days in jail and five years probation for swindling 32,000 dollars from a woman

Lack of a death certificate or burial site and sparse obituary information has led to talk in hip-hop circles that rapper Tim Dog, who owes thousands of dollars to women he was convicted of swindling, faked his own death.

The 46-year-old musician, whose real name is Timothy Blair, is best known for a 1990s song, F*** Compton, that criticised West Coast rappers.

Numerous media organisations have reported or referred to his death from diabetes complications, many citing hip-hop magazine, The Source. But the story has since disappeared from its website and efforts to reach editors there were not immediately successful.

One of the swindling victims from Mississippi said restitution payments to her stopped coming in around the same time Blair was reported dead, said Steven Jubera, the county prosecutor handling the case.

He has since found no death records or any proof of where or how Blair died, so he has sought an arrest warrant, alleging the rapper has not paid compensation from the 2011 grand larceny conviction. A judge approved the warrant. "I have no proof that he's dead, so I have to presume that he's alive," Mr Jubera said.

Blair was sentenced in August 2011 to 14 days in jail and five years on probation for swindling 32,000 dollars from a woman who met him on an online dating site four years earlier. He was ordered to pay about 19,000 dollars in restitution.

Blair is from New York, but had been living in Atlanta, Georgia. The Fulton County medical examiner's office there said there was no record of his death.

Those at the front desk of the high rise listed as his last address said they did not know of anyone by the name Timothy Blair living there. An email to his daughter was not immediately returned.

Lawyer Stan Little, listed in court records as Blair's representative in the larceny case, did not immediately respond to a phone message left at his office.

The Mississippi woman who accused Blair of scamming her was featured last year on Dateline NBC, along with other women he had persuaded to give him money. Esther Pilgrim, of Southaven, Mississippi, told the programme she opened credit cards to get money to invest in Tim Dog albums that Blair said he was producing. After meeting online, the two spent time together in person at Blair's home in Atlanta. In the Dateline programme, Blair said Ms Pilgrim wrecked the record deal and cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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