YouKnowIGotSoul: I heard the tribute you did to Static Major with your version of “Ride Till The Wheels Fall Off.” Did you have an opportunity to meet and work with Static Major?
G-No: No, I didn’t meet Static. But I've made an interview through MySpace back in 2005 that I will publish in my black music book. And Smoke gave me a Playa song includes a Static verse that I recorded, it's in my Mac but I can't release it just yet!
YouKnowIGotSoul: What made you decide to do this tribute to Static?
G-No: In 2010 many people are still Static fans. But who was a Static fan in ‘95? Me! *Laughs* When I heard his rap in "Gin & Juice" with Devante I said damn, who's that cat? And then when I realized it was the same Static in Playa in ‘98 with this soulful voice, I was truly impressed. My tribute to Static is like a tribute to the Jodeci era. He confessed to me in that interview that "Da Bassment was like Motown in a whole new level". He was right, rnb became number one on the pop charts with Aaliyah and Timbaland. I would like people to know who the creators of the rnb we know are: Devante Swing, Smokey and Static among others. All the singers I've had the chance to talk to, from TQ to Day26, know who they are and they're fans of their work. And the second reason I'm singing a tribute is because he was the brother of my brother Smoke, and I'm trying, my way, to keep the legacy of Playa alive.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Anything else to add about Static?
G. No: I would like to speak on Static Major's voice and skills. He could rap and sing, way better than any other artists. And if you're a singer, he's the best inspiration for vocal harmonies. With Smoke, they are definitely the kings. Devante Swing, Timbo or Aaliyah can't say the contrary since they called them to arrange their music and coach their artists. I listen to their work everyday to improve my harmonies. I tried to do the same in my tribute "Rip Static Major".
Some people could say "listen to D'angelo and neo soul music to learn the best harmonies," but hell no, they're just singing like Prince! Nothing new. Listen to his album "1999" or "Controversy."
Static had the hip hop vibe that I love. He was a real hip hop soul artist, much more influenced by gangsta music than K-Ci or Jojo for example. And I'm sure that's why Devante signed Playa. I remember Devante said that he wasn't fan of new jack swing, only g-funk rap.
And people don't know that Aaliyah, Ginuwine and Timbaland success comes from Playa and Static. And what can we say about Lil' Wayne. I'm really pissed off that artists don't show more respect, because they're ALL fans of Playa.
To end, I just wanna say I'm living my teenager dream even if I'm not someone you see in MTV. With my french trio Safyr in the 90's, we wanted to be like Playa, and now I'm signed to Smoke's label, making music with him. I'm just honored and I intend to keep the Playa sound my way. And I would love to sing some Static songs in the future.