Monday, August 11, 2008

Soul Heaven

Isaac Hayes (1942-2008) Shades, fur coats, gold chains, gleaming bald head, a '72 Peacock Blue, gold trimmed, 2 door Eldarado: Isaac Hayes was the epitome of style and the term 'fly,', a sex symbol and an icon for Black pride. I can remember the first time I heard his deep baritone voice, he was the morning deejay at KISS-FM in New York City. A few years later I would discover the music of 'Black Moses,' music that broke the soul formula and revolutionized black music by ushering in a silky, sensual adult sound – and by interpolating lengthy pillow-talk monologues. His extensive resume boasts everything from backing up Otis Redding and writing hit songs with David Porter to creating groundbreaking soul epics, Hot Buttered Soul, Black Moses, The Isaac Hayes Movement-- to name a few, to composing and recording the landmark blaxploitation soundtrack Shaft to winning an Academy Award for 'Best Original Song' for 'Theme From Shaft' to serving as the voice of Chef on South Park to acting in a number of films. In an odd coincidence, Isaac Hayes had just finished work on the film Soul Men, which also stars Bernie Mac, who passed away Saturday. Isaac Hayes, truly epitomized the meaning of one's life coming full circle.Born in poverty, Isaac Hayes grew up picking cotton in Memphis, ironically the stately home he passed away in overlooks those same fields where cotton grew for centuries.