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Isaac Hayes was one of the best assets on hip-hop.

First the Fat Boys break up…

Then we lose Isaac Hayes this past weekend. Let it be known that, so far, August 10th is officially the wackest Sunday this year in hip-hop.

What’s that you say? The dude who crafted Shaft ain’t hip-hop? I was hoping it’d go this way.

When James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, passed away a few years back everyone from Afrika Bambataa to Afrika Islam anointed him the Godfather of Hip-hop as well. And judging by the fact that most of hip-hop’s most signature beats came from JB, it was the right call. But let’s not forget how influential Isaac Hayes’ music was in the realm of rap.

With everyone from Jay-Z (“Can I Live” samples “The Look of Love”) to Dr. Dre (“Stranded on Death Row” lifts “Do Your Thing”), Hayes’ was responsible for creating the backdrop for bonafide rap classics.

Not to mention, he created the theme for Shaft. I mean…Shaft was one dirty mother…shut your mouth.

The thing with Hayes’ signature brand of funk and soul was that it embodied a movement and at the same time, helped to give birth to a new one – the modern rap era. You’d be hard pressed to hear Chuck D. of Public Enemy rattle off “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” without sampling Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic.

Without fail, Isaac Hayes’ music became the backdrop for some of the most infectious hip-hop tunes to date, and with his passing he leaves not only a legacy in his music, but also in the hip-hop music that he helped to create.

R.I.P. Isaac Hayes, August 20th, 1942- August 10th, 2008.


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