Looking at this song’s chart trajectory reveals a rather unexpected jump from #85 to 9 within a week (then to #1). This can surely be attributed to the death of artist and producer Static Major with whom Lil Wayne collaborates on Lollipop. Although he never really had a solo career, Static is best known for being the man behind most of R&B singer Alliah’s hits – another musician who died at a young age. Hits such as Try Again, Come Back in One Piece and Are You That Somebody? all come from his pen. Static died from a rare autoimmune disorder at the age of 33, but not before helping Lil Wayne score his first ever #1 hit.
Lollipop samples the theme song from the 2007 film 28 Weeks Later and features a prominent use of auto-tune on the rapper’s verses in particular. Producer Jim Jonsin defended this ever-polarizing singing technique: “We used auto-tune, but with auto-tune, you can’t just sing through it. You gotta know notes. So Wayne’s not just singing through some thing and it makes his voice sound perfect. The way he used it, he did some neat shit with it. He was singing all crazy with weird melodies that no one really does.”
It’s not just this song that became Lil Wayne’s most popular – its home album, Tha Carter III remains his best-selling one as well as part of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. The baby picture on the front cover is an obvious nod to Nas’ Illmatic and Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die.
Lollipop spent 5 non-consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100, first being dethroned by Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love and second by Coldplay’s Viva la Vida.