RD: the king is dead; long live the king

This post is an excerpt of a larger piece written for RushmoreDrive. You can read it in its entirety there.
That was the original title.
Here's my favorite picture of Isaac.

With all due respect to Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and James Brown, music’s true king died last Sunday. And his name was Isaac Hayes.

Hayes wasn’t the King of Soul or the King of Pop. He was actually coronated as a King of Ghana’s Ada District. He was a genius, to be sure, but he was more than that; a presence, a force, a symbol of Black pride and Black power that influenced every Black person, whether they knew it or not, since Shaft hit shelves in 1971.

Hayes was the consummate songwriter, composing hit after hit with partner David Porter for Stax Records in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. He was the greatest interpreter of the modern era, drowning already-great tunes by writers like Burt Bacharach with soul, funk, and gospel, stretching them into sweeping classics. He redefined popular image – gold chains owe Hayes whatever cultural relevance they retain today.

You can read more about Hayes’ musical prowess by a more expert source here. It’s more important, however, to recognize the legitimacy Hayes brought to Black art – stacking a Golden Globe, a Grammy, and an Oscar for a blaxploitation soundtrack speaks to just how poignant his music was.

Hayes was the boldest of sex symbols...

You can read the rest of this article at RushmoreDrive.

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