Rapper Melvin ‘Magoo’ Barcliff has passed away at age 50. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
The wife of the rapper Meco Barcliff told The New York Times that the rapper had not been feeling well for about a week. She adds that he had no known health problems prior to reporting not feeling well. The death was announced by Digital Black, a member of the 90s hip-hop group Playa which came from the same rap collective as Timbaland and Magoo.
“Man can’t believe this RIP Magoo damn big bro wasn’t ready for this at all,” the singer wrote in his tribute on Instagram. Once news of the death began to spread, the tributes from fellow rappers poured in. “This one hits different. Long live Melvin aka Magoo!!!” Timbaland shared on Instagram. “Tim and Magoo forever rest easy my king.”
“This kind of post I don’t wish on anyone. At first I was in shock and now reality has kicked in,” adds Missy Elliott. “I asked you to rap on Beep Me 911 and I played your verse over and over because I always loved your VA style. Posting this is so heartbreaking I am so lost for words,” she continues.
“This dude always pushed me,” adds Ginuwine. “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 always be 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.”
Magoo says listening to rap music as a child on the radio helped save him. He realized at 14 years old that he could hone his craft as a rapper, making friends with Timothy Mosley—also known as Timbaland. Magoo and Timbaland’s influence on rap sound in the 90s and early 2000s is undeniable; releasing three albums between 1997 and 2003.