Still Here: The Mysterious Life and Death of Static Major

Stephen Ellis Garrett, better known as “Static Major”, was a passionate Scorpio born on Nov. 11 of 1974 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“He was way ahead of his time,” Genuwine said of Static in a 2012 interview with You Know I Got Soul, “He was truly a diamond in the rough.”

Static’s music career instantly sparked after connecting with Swing Mob, a collective of R&B/Hip-Hop artists first discovered by Jodeci member Devante Swing. The group consisted of musical creatives such as Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Genuine and Static’s band Playa. The group is most known for their 90’s hit ‘Cheers 2 U’, which was produced by Timbaland.

Although Playa disbanded after only releasing one album, Static and Timbaland went on to create more musical magic. The pair worked together to produce hits like ‘Pony’ by Genuine before Static tapped into his true star power: songwriting .

“He took his songwriting to another level,” Genuine said.

As the lead songwriter for the late R&B singer Aaliyah, Static penned hits such as ‘Try Again’ , ‘More Than A Woman’ and ‘Rock The Boat’. He also has writing credits on songs such as Pretty Ricky’s ‘On The Hotline’, Truth Hurts’ Addictive’, Genuwine’s ‘So Anxious’ and Destiny Child’s ‘Say My Name’.


But just when it seemed like this star couldn’t shine any brighter, tragedy struck the music world and beyond.

In February of 2008, just two weeks before the release of his Grammy award-winning song ‘Lollipop’ with Lil Wayne, Static died in the hospital as a result of complications from a rare autoimmune disorder. He was 33.

(3+3= 6, which is typically associated with the sign of Scorpio)

Not only was Static’s death sudden and completely unexpected, it was almost inexplicable.

Static’s wife, Avonti Garrett, explained that within a 12-hour period, with myastheia gravis, which causes muscle weakness and fatigue, and been recommended for a procedure called plasmapheresis. The treatment, which is similar to dialysis, required a large-bore catheter to be inserted through his neck and into his chest area.

After Static complained of severe pain and discomfort, a nurse was instructed to remove the catheter. Static then went into respiratory distress, leaving those who loved him most with more questions than answers.

“They basically killed him and tried to cover it up,” Garrett said in a 2018 interview with Major Styles Entertainment, ” It was a whole lot of  ‘I don’t remember’  type things and changing records…”

But in true Scorpio fashion, death didn’t dim Static’s shine. In fact, death seemed to breathe new life into his star power while simultaneously magnifying his legacy.

Fellow Scorpio Drake is notorious for integrating Static in his own modern works. Static was most recently featured on ‘After Dark’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign on Drake’s 2018 Scorpion album.

He also has writing credits on Ella Mai’s ‘Shot Clock’  from her 2018 debut album. It’s almost like he never left the music game, at least not in spirit.

Death and mystery are major Scorpio themes that are present in Static’s life and his passing. Even his connection to Aaliyah, who perished as a result of a plane crash in 2001, is mystifying. The star was actually traveling back from shooting a video for a song written by Static and both of their deaths were untimely, widely publicized and raised many questions.

In 2018, Static’s estate released ‘Love is Dro’, a song constructed with lyrics from Playa’s ‘If You Scared, Say You Scared’. The estate also plans to share Static’s debut album ‘Suppatime’ in 2020. According to Garrett, her husband originally gave the release this title because he was eager to take the music industry by storm with a showcase of his production, songwriting and vocal talents as an independent artist.

“He could write a song and three years later, the same song would still be a hit,” Garrett said, “He just had an ear for the future.”

When I first heard ‘Love Is Dro’ in September of 2019, I loved the sweet, yet alluring sound. Signature Scorpio. The song actually played at random on Spotify radio and I was surprised to see that it was a Static Major song. Despite the fact that song didn’t sound dated at all, I was aware that Static had passed and assumed that the song must have been older. Again, to my pleasant surprise, I learned that the song was only one year old and that more posthumous releases were on the way.

I wonder if younger people who aren’t aware of Static’s passing will hear the posthumous works and be surprised to discover that he is no longer living. I also wonder if they will be as fascinated by his past and current impact on music as I am.

Regardless, even in death, Static Major is shining brighter than ever.

“Music is like breathing. Simple shit.”

-Stephen “Static Major” Garrett