In a sad bit of news, Stephen “Static” Garrett passed away from unknown causes in his Louisiana hometown on Monday Feb 25th 2008. Static was 1/3 of the group Playa and went on to produce and write for artists like Ginuwine (“Pony”), Nas (“You Owe Me”), Jay-Z (“Change The Game”) and the late Aaliyah (“Are You That Somebody”). He was also a part of Blackground Music and founder, Barry Hankerson, has issued a statement on the label’s behalf…

“Blackground Records and its staff and affiliate entities are deeply mourning the loss of a great talent and a great human being. It has been a pleasure to work and develop his career as a songwriter and producer.  His talent was only surpassed by his loyalty and dedication,” he says. “It made me so happy to share with him the wealth of the music industry as well as one of the most personal relationships I have ever had in my 40 year career. I truly loved him, and I still do. We will now transfer our love and attention to his family during this difficult time,” adds Hankerson.

Label mate Tank also had words to say for his late friend…

“We’ve lost one of the great song writers of our time but more than that we’ve lost a son, a brother, a husband, and a father.  The Blackground family has been dealt yet another blow to the heart. God is still getting us through the last one and this too shall pass. Static I love you.”

Static was in the process of finishing up his debut album titled Suppatime and the lead single “I Got My” features Lil Wayne. He also recently penned the lead single from Wayne’s album “Lollipop” and is featured in the video that was shot in Las Vegas. No word if his solo album is still coming out.

HipHopDX sends our condolences to friends and family of Static.