R.I.P. Isaac Hayes

It turns out that my first contribution as the Tripwire Editor is a very bittersweet moment, but I feel I must take said moment to reflect on the life of one of music's true icons. Isaac Hayes was found yesterday morning next to his still running treadmill, and after attempts to revive him failed, he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., Sunday, August 10 at the Age of 65.

While Hayes was popular with a younger generation through his voice over work – most notably as the libidinous Chef on South Park – music fans of all genres will forever remember him for his work with the legendary Stax label, his Academy and Grammy Award winning "Shaft" score and his infamous Black Moses persona. Believe it or not, Hayes was the first African American to win an Oscar for anything besides acting (and no black musician would win one again until 1985 when Prince won the award for his score of Purple Rain). After one of his songs got him hired to work at Stax, he teamed up with David Porter to compose over 200 songs, including the chart topping R&B hits for Sam & Dave, "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Soul Man". Anyone who's ever seen the classic Blues Brothers movie will be familiar with the latter.

Yet despite all of these accomplishments (and the many I haven't included), what the big man from the small town in Tennessee will probably be remembered for most is his deep voice. You can still hear it now…

"Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks?"


"Ya damn right!"

Here is a video of Hayes performing "Shaft" live in Spain in 1973. Try to guess who the man introducing him is. Here's a hint, he's a reverend.

R.I.P. Isaac Hayes