Magoo, the rapper who collaborated with Timbaland in the late ‘90s and early ‘2000s, has reportedly passed away at the age of 50. According to PEOPLE, no cause of death has been determined at this time.
On Aug. 13, multi-platinum artist Digital Black announced the sad news of Magoo’s passing on Instagram.“Man can’t believe this RIH Magoo damn big bro wasn’t ready for this at all #superfriends,” the star captioned a photo of Magoo and Timbaland’s debut album Welcome to Our World.
Timbaland also took to the social media platform to pay homage to the late rap star with a heartfelt tribute. “This one hits different. Long live Melvin aka magoo !!!” the Grammy Award-winning producer penned Aug. 14. “Tim and Magoo forever. Rest easy my king.”
The rapper, born Melvin Barcliaff, met Timbaland in their hometown of Norfolk, Virginia when they were teenagers.
With a passion for music and production, the duo eventually turned their creative dreams into reality when they joined forces to form Timbaland & Magoo in 1989.
In the early days of their career, the duo was a part of a collective called Surrounded by Idiots which featured Pharrell, according toYouKnowIGotSoul. Eventually, the hitmakers went on to collaborate with another Virginia-bred star, Missy Elliott. Magoo was responsible for introducing Elliott to Timbaland.
“I think God did all of that for some kind of reason if you look at the results,” the late rapper told YouKnowIGotSoul in a 2020 interview. “We went to the crib and Tim put on the first beat and Missy was in. It was almost like God was putting pieces together from Larry introducing me to Tim and then us meeting Missy. This is going to sound corny, but I believe that our lives are like the yellow brick roads like in The Wizard of OZ. When you stay on the yellow brick road, your life turns out how it’s supposed to turn out.”
In 1997, Magoo and Timbaland released their breakout single “Up Jumps Da’ Boogie” alongside Elliott. The classic hit was featured on their debut album Welcome to Our World and reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another single from the project, “Clock Strikes” also reached the pop Top 40 and No. 24 on the R&B chart.
In 2001, the duo released their follow-up album Indecent Proposal which peaked at No. 29 and sold over 350,000 copies. The project didn’t produce any hit singles, but their third album, Under Construction Part II, “reached” No. 50 and included the minor radio hit “Cop That Shit,” which also featured Elliott,” Deadline noted.
On X, Elliott, who also collaborated with Magoo on “Beep Me 911,” said she was “in shock” over the news of the rap star’s death.
“This kind of post I don’t wish on any1 at 1st I was in shock & now reality has kicked in. I asked you to rap on Beep Me 911 & I played your verse over & over because I always loved your VA-style posting this is so heartbreaking I am so lost for words… #RIPMAGOO,” the rhymer penned.
Ginuwine also paid tribute to the late rapper, reminding fans that “time is short.”
“I don’t even know how to say anything at this point, I have lost 3 friends now within a month to LIFE and its due date ….this dude, always pushed me …I will miss you maganooo that’s what we called him,” Ginuwine penned in a lengthy eulogy Aug. 13. The singer captioned a photo of Magoo with a text overlay that read, “R.I.P Soldier Melvin “MaGoo” Barcliff.”
“Totally one of the best ever in my eyes always pressing forward I know we didn’t talk alot but the love was and will be always there my brother. I will see you soon bro we all have our date and I’m expecting the bro hug when I get there,” the R&B star added.
“I’m truly efd up right now foreal life is crazy… I hate going through this and losing people we love sometimes it makes you feel like you don’t wanna feel the pain so you wanna be gone also …pain hurts ..man oh man blessings to the family all of my condolences.”
Take a look at a few more reactions below. Our hearts go out to Magoo’s family during this difficult time.
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