it’s an old cliche, but life is truly full of tragedy. It is ironic and very tragic that so many people today only recognize Isaac Hayes as the voice of Chef on South Park or for his recent conversion to Scientology.
Isaac Hayes has been known as many things besides his role on South Park. When I was growing up, he was known as Black Moses. His voice was one of a kind, soulful, and Kerry the essence of his talent. “Hot Buttered Soul” and “Black Moses” got plenty of air time in the house in which I grew up in. Isaac Hayes was an original and he was sporting gold chain’s, big sunglasses, and a ball head long before any of today’s rappers were born.
He was born in the deep South; Covington Tennessee and orphaned at a young age. His grandparents took over the role of parenting, but in his teens he dropped out of school completely. This type of start on life infused him with a painful kind of soul. This hurt and longing is clearly her in many of his hit songs.
In a time of racial injustice and social upturn within the Black communities, Isaac Hayes became a champion for equality and respect of Black musical artists. It can be argued that his album “Hot Buttered Soul” saved Stax Records and help usher in a new genre of music called Southern soul. He took his music to the next level when he wrote and scored the soundtrack to the movie Shaft. To this day, the theme song of Shaft is one of the most recognizable theme songs of any movie. What makes the shaft soundtrack so amazing is that he infused an entire orchestra with his funk.
If you would like to hear some old school rap, check out his versions of the songs “Walk on By”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, and one of my favorites, “I Stand Accused”. You will not find profanity, rhyming, or beat boxing in these songs. What you will hear our mesmerizing stories being told by a master. I hope when all is said and done, in the end the world will remember Isaac Hayes not at Chef, but the bald head, gold chain and dark sunglasses wearing Black Moses.