Timbaland’s partner-in-crime and best friend, Magoo, has passed away aged 50. The Virginia emcee first began rapping alongside Timbaland as part of the duo Timbaland & Magoo but also worked with Aaliyah, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, and more.
The pair had great success with their 1997 debut album, Welcome to Our World. With appearances from the likes of Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Ginuwine, and more, the project got certified platinum by the RIAA. Furthermore, it boasted the duo’s highest-charting single, ‘Up Jumps da’ Boogie.’
The musician (real name Melvin Barcliff) passed away on August 13th. However, no cause of death has been revealed yet. Barcliff’s most known work is alongside Timbaland on the iconic track ‘Indian Flute’ from their 2003 album Under Construction Part II.
Indian Flute was produced by Timbaland and recorded at Master Sound Studios in Virginia. The track also features American-born Indian hip-hop singer Rajé Shwari as well as Sebastian. However, for most, Magoo’s verse was the highlight of the entire record.
Since Barcliff’s death, many have paid Tribute to the artist and expressed their sadness, including his Virginia peers Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Taking to Instagram, the producer wrote, “This one hits different. Long live Melvin aka Magoo!!! Tim and Magoo forever. Rest easy my king.”
After Timbaland’s success outside of hip-hop with Justin Timberlake, it is unclear how much contact the pair had as the producer continued to achieve more fame and success. However, it’s fair to say Magoo was far less-known than his counterpart.
In a 2020 interview with YouKnowIGotSoul.com, the emcee told the publication about how he was satisfied regardless of only achieving minor fame, stating, “We made fun records, but they weren’t corny. I don’t have any regrets. 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.”