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Death has never been easy for me to deal with. And, despite my belief that life should be celebrated daily, with age, I have found that death begs us to be reminded of the blessings each day brings, regardless of the weather. So, it should be unsurprising that I have absolutely nothing to say about the sudden death of Isaac Hayes, the man who, in 1969, completely changed the way we listen to and perceive soul music. The man who, with one gritty theme-song, signaled the end of the 60’s and the dawn of the 70’s. The man who received multiple Grammys, two Oscars, and a record-setting seven #1 albums in the R&B Billboard charts… Instead, I have everything to say about his life…

He was a timeless master of adaptability, and truly dedicated to his craft. He had a passion for it. Upon his induction into the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he told a CNN representative that he credited his success to “adjusting and constantly evolving, expanding and trying to stay as young as [he could].”

South Park‘s Chef is the Isaac that has had the greatest impact on my life, and I have reflected on that side of him more than any other since his death, not only because I find laugher to be the best medicine (especially while I also wrap my head around the untimeliness of Bernie Mac’s passing), but also because his willingness to take part in the creation of South Park’s legacy was indicative the humility and open-mindedness that were two genuine aspects of his character.

Whether you identify most with Black Moses, Ike the Ripper, Hot Buttered Soul, Shaft‘s theme song, South Park’s Chef, or the Isaac Hayes Foundation, there’s an Isaac for our every mood.

Where in Isaac do you find your release?

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