Sometimes when you don't yell and holler the loudest, they hear you the most. In a decade of a lot of soul music with bravado and show, Isaac Hayes took a more introspective and deeper approach with 1969’s Hot Buttered Soul, which marked his commercial breakthrough on Stax Records. And it wasn’t just a personal breakthrough: it became a landmark in soul music. The album merged R&B/soul with orchestral structures and a psychedelic sound, a newer and much funkier sound by the original baldhead slick. With himself pictured on the album cover wearing sunglasses and a gold chain—going against the era’s dress code of sharp Motown suits.
And that classic album is only the tip of the iceberg of how Isaac Hayes reinvented soul music. Take 'Theme from Shaft', which made him the first African American artist to win an Academy Award for a soundtrack, contributing to the birth of the Blaxploitation genre. And then we’re not even talking yet about Black Moses, The Isaac Hayes Movement, and the rest of his vast iconic catalog...
Over a thousand tracks by hip-hop artists like The Notorious B.I.G. (“Warning”), Jay Z ("Can I Live"), 2Pac ("Me Against The World"), Public Enemy (“Power to the People”), Wu-Tang Clan (“C.R.E.A.M.”), Dr. Dre (“Xxplosive”), and Ol' Dirty Bastard ("Shimmy Shimmy Ya") include samples of Isaac Hayes’ music. With eighteen previously unreleased instrumentals and two demos now released exclusively on Tracklib, producers get the opportunity to do the same. With original stems for all twenty tracks!
— Isaac Hayes III
“My father has always been very open to sampling,” tells Isaac Hayes III, son of the late soul legend, who is a producer himself and manages The Estate of Isaac Hayes. “He came from a similar background of poverty and struggles as many rappers and producers in the 80s and 90s; they just told the same story differently. That’s how he looked at it. From day one he loved it that people sampled his music. He was a huge fan of Dr. Dre, RZA and Snoop Dogg. But he was also a fan of artists like P. Diddy and Alicia Keys who have also sampled his work.”
—Isaac Hayes III
Isaac Hayes III hand-picked twenty masters, which he transferred from original 2-inch, 1-inch and ¼-inch tapes. “I’ve selected all tracks based on how they can be sampled. I didn’t want to feel like ‘everybody is gonna use this bit and sample it this way.’ Instead, I want producers who use the same material to be able to sample it in multiple directions and styles. I want to create new pathways for my father’s music.”
Tracklib was Isaac Hayes III’s platform of choice to release his father’s never-before-heard music for a clear reason: “Tracklib enables artists to generate new content off of their content. J. Cole’s Middle Child was a great example to me: over 45 years later, J. Cole brought back the music of First Choice, breathing new life and revenue into their music. To me, that’s ground-breaking. And for producers, it brings back the experience of digging in the crates in a contemporary—and safe and legal—way. It benefits both the new and the old artist.”
Now producers have the opportunity to be the first to sample unheard material from the legendary soul artist. Isaac Hayes III: “It’s mind-blowing to realize that this is music he made in an era without digital recording. His work ethic and all the musicians talent level was insane! That led to over three-hundred unreleased tracks, including tracks with vocals which we're sooner or later going to release as a new album. Plus more unreleased music which Tracklib doesn’t even have—yet…”
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