Magoo Dies: Rapper Who Collaborated With Timbaland and Missy Elliott Was 50

Magoo (Credit: Blackground Records)

Magoo, the hip-hop artist best known for his collaborations with Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and Aaliyah, has died. He was 50.

Music producer Digital Black shared the news of his passing in an Instagram post on Sunday (Aug. 13). No cause of death was given.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Magoo — whose real name was Melvin Barcliff — emerged onto the hip-hop scene in the late 1990s.

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Since his death was announced on Sunday, fellow artists and fans have expressed condolences on social media.

Timbaland posted a tribute on Instagram, reminiscing about their past collaborations. “This one hits different,” he shared, alongside a video of the pair performing. He added, “Tim and Magoo forever.”

Missy Elliott also took to Twitter to remember Magoo. “This kind of post I don’t wish on anyone,” she began, “at first, I was in shock & now reality has kicked in.”

“Pony” singer Ginuwine remembered his friend on Instagram.

“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 wrote.

Magoo’s musical journey began as a teenager when he crossed paths with Timbaland in Norfolk. Their friendship led to a lasting professional partnership as Timbaland & Magoo, and resulted in the duo’s debut album, Welcome to Our World.

Released in 1997, the album’s standout track “Up Jumps da Boogie,” featuring Missy Elliott and Aaliyah, became their highest-charting single.

The pair would go on to release two more studio albums together: Indecent Proposal (2001) and Under Construction, Part II (2003). The latter album was a sequel to Missy Elliott’s Under Construction.

In a 2020 interview with, Magoo said he had “no regrets” about his career.

“I didn’t get the street credibility that I got into hip hop for, but I felt if I could make people happy and have a good time, that was contributing to hip hop too but in a different way,” he shared at the time.