Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
Magoo, Rapper of Timbaland and Magoo, Dead at 50 - Rolling Stone

Magoo, Virginia The rapper best known for his work in the late 90s and early 2000s along with his longtime friend/super producer Timbaland has passed away. He was 50 years old.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Tidewater County, Virginia, confirmed his death Rolling Stone, although note of the cause of death is still pending. told his wife, Mikko Barcliffe New York times that the rapper (real name Melvin Barcliffe) has not been feeling well for the past week; But she added that he had no health problems other than asthma.

The rapper’s death was first announced by Digital Black, a member of the Nineties R&B/hip-hop group Playa, who was part of the same Swing Mob/Da Bassment Cru group as Timbaland and Magoo. “The man can’t believe this big brother wasn’t ready for this at all,” the singer wrote. Instagram.

Timbaland also shared a tribute on InstagramHe writes, “This hits differently, long live Melvin aka Magoo!!!

Missy Elliott wrote Twitter“These kind of posts I wouldn’t want to make in the first I was in shock and now I actually asked you to rap on Beep Me 911 and rhyme your hair over and over because I always loved my VA style 😞 Posting this is so heartbreaking I’m lost for words.. .”

Ginuwine, another Swing Mob alum, Magoo rememberedhe writes, “This guy, he’s always pushed me… one of the best I ever had in my eyes, and I always push forward. I know we didn’t talk much but the love was and always will be there. See you soon bro we all have our date and I’m expecting Hug bro when I get there.”

Melvin “Mago” Barcliffe met Timothy “Timbaland” Moseley when they were teenagers growing up in Virginia’s Hamptons Road area in the early 1990s. In a rare 2020 interview with You know she’s got spiritMagoo said he first knew Timbaland as a top-notch local DJ—then learned he could beats, too.

“At that point, I had never met anyone who was serious about art and that was so talented in art,” said Magoo, adding, “He was miles ahead of everyone else. I’d heard people DJ and rap before him, but it was like he From New York at his level of ability.It was ridiculous when he was sixteen.

Magoo and Tim made music together as part of a group called SBI (Surrounded by Idiots), which also included Timbaland’s cousin, Pharrell, and another local personality, Larry Life. At the time, Timbaland was also producing for a local hip-hop group called Sista, which fronted a young Missy Elliott. After Sista signed a deal with the Swing Mob—the label headed by Jodeci’s DeVanté Swing—Magoo and Timbaland followed the group to Rochester, New York where the label was established. There they met other up-and-coming artists such as Ginuwine, Playa, and Tweet,

“When I first toured with all those cats, they were the most talented bunch of people I’ve ever been around,” Magoo said in a 2020 interview. “When you’re in the moment, you don’t appreciate it that much but all these people pushed me. They never pushed me because it was competition. Nobody ever competed against each other and there was no animosity, but when you see Playa or Ginuwine or Missy Sista’s group or Sugah’s group From Tweet, she was a great talent.”

During the 1990s, Magoo honed his craft as a rapper as Timbaland’s stock as a producer skyrocketed. In 1995, Swing Mob disbanded as a label, but several members continued to work together (often under the collective name “The Superfriends”). In November 1997, on the heels of Missy Elliott’s solo debut After the fly soupand Timbaland and Magoo released their debut studio album, Welcome to our world. The LP was led by the lead single “Up Jumps da Boogie” (featuring Elliott and Aaliyah), which topped the Hot Rap Songs chart and peaked at No. 12 on the chart. painting Hot 100.

With his light, self-described voice, Magoo settled on a style of rapping that was lighthearted and funny. As such, he has often faced criticism from hip-hop’s more hardcore heads, but as he puts it: “I chose this path because I understood the industry. I would say things like ‘Wiggle a little, hang a little, wake up a weirdo'” (from the movie “Drop”). for 2001) because I wanted something that kids would remember… I had to know where I fit in and that’s where I got my catchphrases. I tried to get something in there that would make people remember what I said because I knew people forget rappers all the time.”

He continued, “The commercial success that Tim and I had allowed me to do three albums. We made fun records, but they weren’t corny. I have no regrets. I liked the reaction I got from people who were fans. I didn’t get the street cred that went into my music.” Hip-hop is for it, but I felt that if I can make people happy and have a good time, that contributes to hip-hop too but in a different way.”

Timbaland and Magoo released two more albums, 2001 inappropriate suggestion and 2003 Under construction, part two. While neither of them reached the same heights Welcome to our worldboth spawned successful and memorable singles like “Drop”, “All Y’all”, and “Cop That Shit”.

After that, though, Magoo largely backed away from music and only occasionally returned to the mic. As the MC said in 2020, success turned out to be more stressful than exhilarating, and he quickly became disillusioned with the entertainment industry.


“A lot of people go their entire careers without getting 25 percent of it, and I’ve been lucky to have it, but I’ve never had a chance to enjoy it,” he said. “I’ll keep it real, I didn’t really enjoy any of it. I never felt like me, and Tim got a chance to enjoy our early years, I never felt like we were the million-selling set… I enjoyed it more once it was over and I still didn’t. That’s why I moved away.” A musical business is an unfulfilled promise and that’s kudos. When I had a number one song, I knew I might have done better with 9-5 before I left Virginia.”

Despite it all, there was of course one element worthwhile: “being on set with my boyfriend.” Of his partnership with Timbaland, Magoo said, “It was the best time for me when we were making these songs together. That’s the only thing I miss. I don’t miss being famous, I just miss making songs with my home boy.”

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