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August 10, 2008


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Noel Murray

When I interviewed Hayes a few years back, I asked him, "What's it like to wake up in the morning and realize that you're Isaac Hayes?" His reply:

"I'm just now really getting it. The world's gone retro. It's like a rebirth. People everywhere I go say, 'Wow, Isaac Hayes, wow.' But I just got married to my fourth wife about six months ago, and she didn't know who I was when I first met her. She's from Africa. And it's a revelation to her and a revelation to me too, the way they still remember. I'm revered now. Is it my age? All the things I've done? I never think about all the things I've done until moments like this, talking to you. I'm moving so much. I've learned just to keep working. Learned it from my grandmother. When I used to pick cotton in the fields as a little kid, I was always looking back to see if I got cotton in my sack, and she said, 'Stop! Don't look back. Just keep picking, you'll find out.' So I was picking, picking, picking, and then it felt like someone was standing on my sack. I looked back. My sack is full! I always keep my head down, working, doing things, moving forward. That's what I've done all my life. Then you stop and realize what you've done. 'Damn, I did that!' I don't sit back and count up what I've done. There's just always something else to do. There's always a challenge ahead. I've faced those challenges and hit 'em, you know?"


He was the King of New York. He was A-No. 1.

Aaron Aradillas

His appearance in Craig Brewer's hip-hop crowd-pleaser Hustle & Flow was pure perfection. Brewer says he described the character to Hayes as, "Truck Turner, retired." That's all he needed to hear.

"Walk On By" was used beautifully at the conclusion of The Hughes Brothers' Dead Presidents.

Also, Spike Lee used Haayes in a teasingly effective scene in Summer of Sam.


Truck Turner is actually a pretty good movie. My friends and I used to load up on blaxploitation and kung fu movies in high school, and I remember that one holding us in its grip with jarring editing, terse action scenes, cheesy suspense, wink-wink humor.... and, of course, an unimpeachable soundtrack.

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