My cousin China first introduced me to Isaac Hayes in the early ’70s. Inside his album cover Hayes was shirtless, had a bald head and was laying across what looked to be a black and white striped tiger print rug. It was the wildest thing I had ever seen. She told me Hayes was the guy who did the score for the Shaft – my favorite black superhero. The album was about 90 minutes of what I would describe as a “psychedelic haze.” Except for the Theme From Shaft I absolutely hated it. The music almost made my ears bleed, but I was around seven years old.
I had no idea I was witnessing the start of a revolution. Hayes was black … unapologetically black. Now I reminisce constantly about Hayes’ music. It reminds of the ’70s, back when my grandparents were still alive and my family was all together in Farmville, VA. Hayes was a man of his times, just like NBA Youngboy is a man of his times. Artists tell our stories through their music, film, books, etc. Young artists like NBA Youngboy are telling us something – the world is in pain, and many are turning to drugs to help ease that pain. We rock with NBA Youngboy and he bumps in the whip … heavy.
After reading my book, Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead you all knew the pain was coming. NBA Youngboy’s music reflects his time, but Hayes’s music is “timeless.” That why you hear his Do Your Thing in the background of the Trump And The Global Economy cypher with actor Chad L. Coleman of HBO’s The Wire and AMC’s The Walking Dead. Flip the page for the Isaac Hayes-induced cyper with Coleman, Shock Exchange, Ralphie and Daniel.