There is a lot of talk about Zayn Malik getting inspiration from Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III cover album artwork, but what about the hit song from that album that launched Lil Wayne into a new branch of celebrity status… “Lollipop”?
The other rapper in this song, Static Major, died suddenly on February 25, 2008 in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky soon after the video for “Lollipop” was filmed with Lil Wayne.
In the video, Static Major and Lil Wayne are getting ready for a night on the town, and Static paused to put on his Kentucky basketball-themed pendant before going with a cross.
Obviously, Static Major thought the world of Kentucky basketball and Static was a major factor in Lil Wayne’s continued celebrity … and yet Lil Wayne is dissing Kentucky basketball the week of Static Major’s death anniversary.
24/7 Sports writes on February 21 that Lil Wayne congratulated Texas A&M for their win against the University of Kentucky basketball game on Twitter … and Static Major might have raised an eyebrow to that.
Naturally, this type of congratulations is nothing new coming from Lil Wayne since he is very vocal about his favorite athletes. Vibe reports that Lil Wayne told ESPN’s SportsCenter on February 17 that his top three athletes were Brett Favre, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan.
Despite this, Static Major might have made an exception to having a list of favorite athletes outside of Kentucky because his neighborhood and city of Louisville were everything to him.
The day after his death, Rap Basement published the following quote from Static Major about the importance of Kentucky to the music he made with Lil Wayne and others.
“I stay in the streets, that’s where I draw my inspiration. If it can’t be played in the hood, then it just doesn’t work for me. And nobody can hold me on harmony. My whole aura is not your typical R&B aura.”
About the success Static Major never got to enjoy, on February 9, 2009, Entertainment Weekly wrote the following.
“At least one of last night’s big Grammy honorees couldn’t be there: late songwriter Steve “Static Major” Garrett, who posthumously shared the Best Rap Song award for Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop.” Static penned tons of now-classic R&B, hip-hop, and pop tunes before his untimely death last year. … How will you remember Static Major?”
Unfortunately, at the age of 33, Static Major died of a rare autoimmune disorder that he only found out about on the day he died called “myasthenia gravis.”
At that time, some reports quoted by the LEO Weekly stated that poor procedures at Baptist East Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, caused Static Major to die from what could be perceived as avoidable circumstances.
Sadly, those suspicions were never confirmed or denied by a trial and the Franklin Law Group paraphrased the lawsuit associated with Static Major’s death as part of their website’s case portfolio with the following.
“Stephen Garrett, [AKA] “Static Major”…was admitted to Baptist Hospital East on February 25, 2008 with complaints of inability to swallow and problems with dizziness. Due to lack of monitoring by the hospital staff, and misplacement of a central line catheter by the doctor, Stephen coded for 1 hour and 17 minutes, and ultimately died. This case resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement with the hospital and doctor prior to trial.”
Since Static Major’s untimely death, Lil Wayne has had a lot of success with “Lollipop” and Billboard states that it is tied with “Down” for being Lil Wayne’s number-one-top song of all times.
On top of this, Lil Wayne was not the only person that Static Major helped rise to fame. For example, Madame Noire states there are 11 hit songs that most people do not know Static Major wrote such as “Can I Take You Home” by Jamie Foxx and “Tell Me” by Diddy.
In addition to being the rapper, songwriter, and producer that is famous for “dying with his Grammy in the mail,” Static Major continues to be heard in samples eight years later. Along with the long list compiled on Who Sampled for Static Major and Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” Static was most recently sampled in 2015 by Knxwledge for the song “Dntfall.”
Of course, in his home state of Kentucky, Static Major continues to be cherised. In May 2015, Static Major’s wife, Avonti Garrett, put together a fashion show in his honor in Louisville to raise money for inner city kids to obtain their dreams in music, according to VIPP Report.
[Picture by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]