To my barely teen self, Tim Dog’s Fuck Compton, along with NWA and Boss’s “I Don’t Give a Fuck,” was part of a spate of rap releases that straddled the line between fascinating and frightening. I was fairly oblivious to the nitty-gritty of the East Coast – West Coast rap beef, but being from the northeast I just reflexively threw my lot in with the East Coast. Here Tim Dog menacingly threatens NWA and anyone in their orbit. To my mind at the time, anyone willing to call out NWA must be a real badass.
And that is the sticking point — at that time. Listening to it now it comes across as cartoon goonery over ESG and James Brown samples. On one hand he calls them out for fighting for gang turf but then he quickly goes to the other hand threatening to beat and rob them for being from the West Coast. If it wasn’t for the call to arms I don’t think Tim Dog’s flow or technique would have him stand out from his peers.
I point out the cartoon aspect of the song not because he was likely exaggerating or speaking from a persona, many rappers do that, but because at the time I fully believed that what was presented on the song was who he was. It probably helped that I was very young and from the suburbs but I was effectively conned. I bring this up because I hadn’t given Tim Dog much though until I read that he was on the lam, accused of being a con man and possibly faking his own death. Turns out he did pass away but the accusations appear to be real. One ironic aspect is that one of his cons was promoting an all male “Chocolate Thunder” stripper tour — the b-side here is Wild in the Penile where Tim Dog breaks down his time in jail where he makes it clear he is not down for any gay shit. Anyway, the thread I’m trying to tie here is that I was fully willing to believe that he was a true goon who shouldn’t be messed with, I was willing to be hoodwinked into believing his story. I wasn’t alone judging by the amount of controversy and press Fuck Compton generated. Tim Dog apparently had gift of getting people to believe his version of reality.