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Magoo, Rapper Who Collaborated With Timbaland And Missy Elliott, Dies at 50

15 August 2023 | 9:33 am | Jessie Lynch

Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Ginuwine and more have paid tribute to the late rapper.


Magoo (Youtube)

Virginia rapper Magoo (real name Melvin Barcliff), a rapper best known for his collaborations with Timbaland, Missy Elliott and Aaliyah, has reportedly died at the age of 50.

According to Variety, The Virginia Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the news on Monday though the cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Magoo first rose to prominence in the 1990s as a part of Swing Mob, aka Da Bassment Cru, a collective formed by Jodeci member DeVante Swing. Timbaland and Magoo headlined the group along with Missy Elliot and her group Sista, as well as R&B singer Ginuwine.

In recent years, as Timbaland embarked on a solo career, Magoo chose not to pursue music any further, telling Billboard in 2001: “I’ve never seriously thought about doing a solo album… I’ve thought about it in passing-like if Tim decided he wanted to stop rapping.”

“It would be really difficult for me to think about doing a record without him. We’ve been together since 1990, so [being solo] would be weird. Tim and Magoo is more a friendship than it is a group.”

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Close friend and former collaborator Timbaland was one of many stars to pay tribute to the late hip-hop legend, posting on Instagram: “This one hits different 🥲🥲🥲 long live Melvin aka magoo !!!💔💔💔 Tim and Magoo forever 🕊️🕊️🕊️ rest easy my king ❤️❤️❤️.”

He also shared a video of the pair performing their 1997 hit Up Jumps da Boogie alongside Elliott, as well as a clip of the duo reuniting onstage to perform the track in 2012 at the Shaggfest Music Festival.

“So many memories,” he added.

Ginuwine also shared an emotional message in light of Magoo’s death, posting to social media: “ 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.

“Totally one of the best ever in my eyes always pressing forward I know we didn’t talk a lot but the love was and will be always there my brotha, I will see you soon bro we all have our date and I’m expecting the bro hug when I get there 🍷”

He added, “I’m truly efd[sic] up right now for real 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 oh man blessings to the family all of my condolences 🙏🏽”

Missy Elliott told followers she was left “shocked” by Magoo’s death, writing Monday on Instagram that “the more I sit the reality kicks in so many emotions.”

She also recalled the first time she met the star, and poked fun at his voice, saying: “I remember when we 1st met as teenagers & you said hey my name Melvin & I laughed so hard & I said wait you really talk like that?🫢 and you said yuuuup & I kept laughing & I said what you do you said I rap & you kicked 8 bars & I said you remind me of Qtip & you said he one of my favorite emcees but your flow was VA I loved it!”

She added that it was Magoo who gave her the nickname “Misdemeanor” because “It’s a crime to have that many talents.”

“So those who don’t know Magoo gave me the name Misdemeanor When we did this song Beep Me 911 & I asked Magoo to get on it & I played this verse over and over & posting this is just heartbreaking I am so lost for words… 😭🕊️💔”

Our thoughts are with Magoo’s friends and family at this time.