1. J-Zone’s Tim Dog Appreciation Post.

    Tim Dog

    “I’m so large, I boned Michelle’, in the bathroom – we was bonin’, you shoulda heard how the bitch was moanin’ [followed by the most accurate karaoke rendition of Michelle's “No More Lies” I've ever heard]… shut the fuck up bitch, you can’t sing, ya found like a kid playin’ on the swing.”

    Summer, 1991

    At at time when 50% of the folks walking around the Metro New York area were certified God damn nuts looking to break your jaw for a Starter jacket, I heard that stanza being shouted over a pulsating, prison wall-hard, melody-less beat. It was blasting out of a black Pathfinder. Somebody was not only dissing the fuck out of all things N.W.A (the world’s most dangerous group of the moment), but an entire coast. He didn’t sound happy, lyrical, clever, smooth, dapper, Afrocentric, quirky – none of that shit that most rappers from NYC were at the time. Just hard and pissed off, but not to the point where he wouldn’t get a mean-spirited laugh at your funeral.

    “Yo man, what the fuck is that!?” I asked the twenty-something driver.

    “Fuck Compton,” he responded in a disinterested ‘kid get outta here’ tone. He was probably in the midst of a transaction that would one day make him the next Nino Brown, so I skedaddled.

    Shortly after that sonic shock, a review for “Fuck Compton” by Tim Dog appeared in The Source magazine’s 12” single section. About a month later, I stumbled into a Harlem record store and bought the cassette single for $4.99. Three months after that, my father bought me Tim Dog’s Penicillin on Wax CD for Christmas. My life was forever changed.

    In 1991, great rappers were a dime a dozen, good ones weren’t good enough to compete, and sucky ones made hits. But what about rappers who weren’t skilled, but immensely entertaining? Twenty years later, “personality rap” pays the bills and that term usually applies to the majority of likable rappers that can’t really rap worth a shit (insert just about any current acclaimed rapper here). Tim Dog got points for being both bold and the poster child for Mayor David Dinkins-era NYC – an NYC overrun with robberies, racially-charged fights, and hair-trigger violence – but most people back then said the same thing with regard to his skill level: “Yeah, but he can’t rap.” NYC’s infatuation with lyrical skill caused them to overlook one of the most ground-breaking and important albums in its history. Penicillin on Wax enjoys more appreciation on YouTube two decades later than it did at the time of its release. (Despite Sony’s claims that it went platinum, it’s still impossible to find on CD today.)

    What the naysayers didn’t understand was that Tim Dog’s modus operandi was not one of lyrical dexterity, but brute force. In 1991, brute force embodied the streets of New York and balanced out the “Prisoners of War” and “Verses from the Abstract” type of songs. Instead of being cerebral, brute force rap beat you in the cerebrum with a baseball bat. This wasn’t hip-hop; it was rap. Rap was bold, vulgar, hard, alpha male, gold rope-wearing, chest-beating shit, not the more eclectic stuff you played for critics to prove that all rappers weren’t ignorant hooligans. Visual symbols for this type of rap would be the likes of Schoolly D, Cool C, Eric B., and yes, Tim Dog.

    Rapper beatdowns, taunts, disses, celebrity sexcapades, grunts, screams, humor, non-lyricism, and threats of extreme violence over a stolen bicycle were all put into a Cuisinart and the result was one of the most cinematic rap albums to ever come out of New York. Let’s glimpse at one of the most entertaining songs on the album, “Dog’s Gonna Getcha”, an epic three minute sleigh ride into psychosis, non-lyricism, angst, threats, and the detriments of being soft circa 1991 – all done with brilliant use of the echo chamber.

    New York’s staunch refusal to big up anything not overtly skilled in ’91 meant Abbey Road-level genius like the “Dog’s Gonna Getcha” was doggy paddling below the radar. Not anymore. As I got nostalgic in the 20-year anniversary of my introduction to the rapper who created my favorite rap album of all time, I started a trending topic on Twitter called #timdogquotables for fun. What I soon realized was Penicillin on Wax needs to the first album in history that has its lyrics re-issued on Twitter – one line at a time. Every single stanza on the album can be sanded down to a 140-character statement that makes you say “damn!”, “whoa!”, “pause, son”, “… the fuck?”, or “there’s no fucking way the engineer kept a straight face with that nigga in the booth doing that shit.” Penicillin on Wax is not only the unheralded soundtrack to a pre-Whole Foods and devoid of Bloomberg-ism New York, but the most Twitter-friendly rap album of all time. Let’s pin 2011 technology on a 1991 masterpiece; share these 15 Tim Dog-penned brain farts of brilliance to stimulate the minds of your followers.


    “Tim Dog Quotables…”NEXT PAGE…


  2. You might wanna peep...

    • http://www.facebook.com/BenTheGloriousBastard Ben TGB

      It was a time when there was no metrosexual movement…

    • http://twitter diggedy daz aka pathh88

      Great piece J Zone, def an overlooked lp, still bump it on the regular…

    • The Brown Hr0nyt

      That’s right, Ben TGB, just brothers on the DL like Tim Dog.

    • Tyrone Fuller

      i don’t know who’s greater: Tim Dog of J Zone! although TD has waaaay more butt-centric rhymes than Zone. PS: FUCK a jay Z! Jaz-O all the time! (don’t hate on my opinion)

    • tommee

      thanks for that, Zone… “Dogs Gonna Getcha” was always my favorite. “Be a man!”

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      I also think the Big Tyme album he did with Kool Keith needs its own post. A lot of strange strange shit on there. One thing about the whole Ultra crew, they didn’t give a fuck… and that whole aesthetic birthed a lot of the craziness we see today. Only now, the shit is a lot more widespread.

    • Jealousofmyrezn

      Another awesome blog entry/classic quotes! Thanks J-Zone!

    • http://phatfriend.wordpress.com/ Blockhead

      Fantastic. The whole “Personality” rap really nailed something I’ve been trying to vocalize for years but couldn’t find the right word. Well done….and agreed that “Dog’s gonna gethca” may be one of the greatest songs ever.

    • backnforth

      Talkin about how ridiculous TIM DOG was???

      You guys need to listen to this RIGHT NOW!!!
      And prepare to laugh for the entire duration…

      http://therealfrequency.podbus.com/blog/2009/08/19/differently-still-guy-episode-35/

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Blockhead…exactly. Ultra and Tim Dog embraced the “personality” style at a time when it was all about being super-lyrical in New York. Kool Keith had a lot of hidden meaning shit lyrically, but the Ultra camp was primarily about entertainment. Even that Tyler the Creator “Yonkers” video has some “Poppa Large” influence. Nobody in ’92 did videos rapping in a fuckin straight jacket. Years later, you’d have Kanye, Dipset, etc. – they focused more on entertainment value than being lyrically precise. Penicillin on Wax is more relevant today than it was then, at least aesthetically.

    • http://www.facebook.com/BenTheGloriousBastard Ben TGB

      The Brown Hr0nyt> I said metro not homo

    • jayz sucks cock

      I disagree zone when you keep saying the album was non lyrical. it was lyrical enough. I dont think bringing up tim dog was not lyrical 20 times makes this a better album. it was a great album and tim dog did good enough. the majority of the album was a diss album so there was a limit.

    • GoodWilHustlin’

      Shit, Tim Dog just sounded vicious at all times. Homeboy must’ve had lozenges on deck at all times during the recording of this album. He growls and yells so damn much, but again, that all fit into the Tim Dog personality. Him kickin’ it with Keith worked wonders. On that note, someone should post a Kool Keith Appreciation, dude had personas for days. I dunno if you guys remember an Ego Trip Show on MTV a couple years back where he smelled strippers while blindfolded, then managed to figure out which ethnicity they were by their touch and smell.

      PLUS, peep this interview for some real talk by Black Elvis…

      http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/interviews/id.1229/title.kool-keith-chromosomal-beatdown

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      I hear you. Keith is in a class all by himself. Inspired a lot of shit that goes on today (from an eccentricity standpoint) and never got a lot of credit. Not too many rappers would talk about jerkin off on records in the 90s. I’m working on a video tribute to Penicillin on Wax as well.

    • Yeedo

      i blogged about this too http://bucketheadrecords.blogspot.com/2011/01/dog-from-bronx.html

      tim dog was hard as shit man! i was a big fan of his pal preacher earl too who had the “return of the body snatcha” 12″ out that was classic and is still one of my most prized 12″s

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Yeedo

      Preacher Earl! The first record I ever produced (that was released) was a Preacher Earl record called “Fool I Got Your Back” in 1995. Earl was as real as they come and a real cool cat. I like the joint he and Tim did together, “Grab Your Gat”. “Body Snatcha” was hard too.

    • http://chasemarch.blogspot.com Chase March

      I actually have this album on CD. How about that?

      I’m not sure but this record might have actually started the East Coast – West Coast Rivalry. I don’t remember anyone else dissing the West before this record.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Chase, I think it was the first punch thrown. I know that King Sun and Mob Style both took shots at the West and Rodney O & Joe Cooley and Tweedy Bird Loc went at New York long before all the Bad Boy / Death Row shit, but this came first.

      I remember Tim Dog bein on Yo MTV Raps and taking some of his anti-West Coast statements back. He gave props to Ice Cube, Ice-T and WC and the MAAD Circle. After that, it was more specific as to who he was dissin.

      Hold on to the CD. I haven’t seen one in a used CD shop in maybe 15 years.

    • http://coldrockdaspot.blogspot.com Jaz

      Oh man Zone, you had me rolling with mad laughter with a lot of this…haha classic post, Tim Dog definitely has his place in Hip Hop…that album would not have been as dope without the raw NYC beats from some of the Ultramags though.

    • http://twitter.com/DJMichaelTimex Dj Michael Timex

      On point bruh. This definitely inspired me to follow up on my BustDown write up and finish my Disco Rick and the Dogs piece too. Tim Dog was the secret weapon of all battle dj’s for diss routines. Tim Dog was that nigga…..if Mr. Sandman from mike Tyson’s Punch-Out had on shades and could rap he’d be Tim Dog.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      No you didn’t say Mr. Sandman. Hahahahaha. He could also be Tyson. Bustdown was raw when it came to dissin and bitch-baiting. A good MC too.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      And agreed Jaz. Ultra was only topped by Bomb Squad when it came to wall of sound beat shit. The album structure was up there with all of the greats of the time too.

    • abeewon

      Always loved Fuck Compton im always surprised nobody points out its nearly identical to his verse on “a Chorus LIne”.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      True, plus the beats were near identical. His rhymes on the Chorus Line were dope.

    • oskamadison

      Chorus Line was my shit, a lot of it initially because of Tim Dog. I still have POW on cassette to this day (funny, I don’t remember buying it. I just ended up with it.) Your post had me cryin’ and snottin’ laughin’, much like the album. Imagine if it dropped now…

    • http://dizelgorivo.blogspot.com 11211

      you gotta do a piece on the Ultra venture, foreal

    • cenzi

      Tim Dog has the flow of Sir Mix a Lot, the lyrical intelligence of a drunken Bushwick Bill and the gritty hardcore of Freddy Foxx on steroids.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Cenzi… wow. Hahaha

    • kessler

      dope article….nice word order!!!…when one quotes Tim Dog in twitter-friendly sound bites it puts my mind to Larry David’s boy Krazee-Eyes Killah…straight to the point pointlessness…which is flava…do i need someone to tell me how to live? well, possibly..but thats not the point…comedic rap is always nicer than didactic, moralistic doodoo…thanks for the music btw!!! PEACE

    • LOAF

      there’s a japanese version where they took out the NWA piano from the intro. it’s weird

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      You know why right? NWA sued him for sampling that beat off 100 MIles & Runnin EP. I remember reading that in The Source around the time the album came out.

    • Spoons

      Really? NWA sued him? Hypocritical mongrels. And when the bit he ripped on was a bit NWA ripped off from Ice Cube’s Orio Cookie bit (not the piano loop, but the general skit) – they couldn’t take the irony of it all in good humour, could they?

      I’d guess NWA weren’t squeaky clean on all their sample clearances either.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Yup. From what I remember reading in The Source, the world’s most dangerous group got him for that. Not a dangerous move at all. And I know NWA got sued for a few samples themselves – on the 100 Miles & Runnin EP in particular.

    • Slim

      A lot of people dont realize that Tim Dog almost got beat down here in Cali for coming out with that song. Shout out to CMW

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      I heard 2Pac saved his life out there. I know for a fact that 2nd II None stepped to him on it.

    • pauly t

      god i miss this album! when my boy first played it i thought it was weird al type of joke. i love how he’s pointing to his head on the cover art; is he insinuating that he’s smart, or that his head hurts from trying to think too hard?

    • http://sekretytresurypsa.pl/ sekerty tresury psa

      How do you think who is better: Tim Dog of J Zone!?

      BTW good job

    • http://none Gen RC

      word , hahaha. Tim Dogging is great I dont care what anyone says! I will Tim Dog a dude with a hot girl, because its not me. hahaha

    • http://none Gen RC

      See I was backwards I got the cowards in compton single tape first from Luke, then I got the Tim Dog. You got me by a few years. They were all dope though. You cant front. That shit was hot.

    • nate

      as a tribute to the dog baby baby, i just had to do this one for you zone…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-69SdYqXnE&feature=plcp

    • kooch

      great write up, but i dont expect anything less from j-zone. most importantly, rip tim dog. but you compared tim to “entertainment rap” of today, i get that, but i dont fully agree. why i liked tim so much (sure he was funny as shit), but dude didnt give a fuck., he saw someshit around his life, got pissed, wrote it down, rapped about it. id put him in a catagory with a young ice cube, willie d, and even chuck d, before id compare him to wonka flonkas or whoevers rapping today, saying ignorant shit to get a rise out of people. tim did that shit. but i truly believe that tim felt that shit. something thats always lacked in rap. rip tim, and thanks for the great article, j.

    • GMOW10463

      i had that 4.99 cassette too blasting thru homemade 15s in my hooptie. whole lota memories. r.i.p. tim dog bx warrior supreme. RESPECT!

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