Stax Records Soul Pioneer Issac Hayes has passed and joined the ancestors earlier this morning in his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was found near a treadmill in his home and was unresponsive to attempts to revive him.
He and his writing partner David Porter began writing for the Stax Label when they were 17 year old kids, writing, producing and backing up Otis Redding, The Markeys, The Barkays and Sam and Dave. Their formula was to write stories about things they knew. Hayes eventually became a solo artist for the label, releasing Hot Buttered Soul, Black Moses and the Issac Hayes Movement. Hayes, self taught played keyboards, organ and saxophone but it was his voice, his orchestrations and the arrangements that stretched up to 14 minutes long where Issac would just rap and talk with the audience that made the crooner famous. It was his boldly shining dome accenting his physique that made him a legend.
He won an Oscar for the score of Shaft in 1971 directed by A Choice of Weapons inspiring ancestor Gordon Parks starring a young Richard Roundtree. He went on to compose several movie scores and act in several films most notably Escape From New York starring Kurt Russell as The Duke of New York! His acting talents extended well beyond just drama, he also was adept at comedy mocking his own super soul brotha persona alongside Jim Brown in I'm gonna git you sucka!
He is probally best known though as Jerome "Chef" Mcelroy, the love machine, crooning school cafeteria cook and guru to the foul mouth fourth graders of South Park. He explained life's mysteries to the young charges, oft times the only sensible adult the kids would listen to. As Chef he crooned some of the raunchiest lyrics ever set to animation. It was funnie, bawdy, tongue in cheek but most of all melodic and funky!
Hayes left the series after the Tom Cruise Scientology episode. Hayes, a longtime member of the Church of Scientology was incensed at the what he felt were bigoted views of his religion. In fairness, he was a good sport and gladly participated whenever they lampooned anyone else. I wonder did he protest loudly when the episode was proposed?
I personally believed that he was influenced by his churches leaders to leave the show but that is just my opinion.
Hayes, was considered along with Gil Scott Heron, James Soul Brother # 1 Brown, P- Funk and Barry The Maestro White to be one of Pioneers of Rap Music often sampled and Hayes in particular one of the guiding lights to the long playing dance recordings that eventually morphed into the abomination known as Disco. Death Before Disco! But I digress!
I guess I'll grab my copy of Issac Hayes Greatest hits and play a few more kisses to go then grab my wife and dance long and slow groovin just like Ike!
Rest in Peace Brother May the Funk be with you!
BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!