Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

A quick epilogue to last week’s J. Clyde post:

I got to see his beat-making operation up close just before Christmas, including his killer record collection. Dude has a lot of records. Thousands. I was especially jealous of his soul collection, despite the fact that I hadn’t heard of half the groups represented. The more obscure something was, the more fun it was to see him walk over, put it on the turntable and drop the needle on the tiny snippet that was sampled in a rap song I’ve heard dozens of times.

He has these relationships tucked away in his brain, but while we listened he told me about an iPhone app that helps neophytes like me make those types of connections. It’s called WhoSampled, and it’s about as much fun as you can have for $2.99 (you can access the same database from your browser for free, FYI). I’ve been using the app more and more lately, and I thought I’d share a quick (unsolicited and unpaid) illustration.

Take Issac Hayes’ version of “Walk On By.” I picked up a copy of Hot Buttered Soul this past Friday, and I didn’t get five seconds in before saying to myself “OOOOOOOOK, this sounds crazy familiar. What’s this been in?” (It strikes me that this is incredibly similar to when you check IMDb because you know an actor’s been in something you’ve seen, but you can’t remember what. There’s a think-piece in there somewhere, but we’ll save it for another day.)

Have a listen to see what I mean:

Issac Hayes — “Walk On By” [Spotify/iTunes]

Crazy familiar, right? OK, so a quick WhoSampled search revealed it’s been used 59 times. It’s no “Apache” (sampled in 276 songs), but still — 59 songs ain’t shabby. Some heavy hitters, too. Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Wu-Tang… The app doesn’t just give you a list, though. When you click on each title, it tells you where in the song the sample appears and gives you a YouTube video so you can listen and an iTunes link so you can buy. It’s awesome.

I’ve posted a few highlights of my “Walk On By” search below. I hope you have as much fun spotting the source material as I did.

Notorious B.I.G. — “Warning” [Spotify/iTunes]

Tupac — “Me Against The World” [Spotify/iTunes]

Wu-Tang Clan – “I Can’t Go To Sleep” [Spotify/iTunes]

Alicia Keys — “If I Was Your Woman” [Spotify/iTunes]

Ludacris — “Southern Fried Intro” [Spotify/iTunes]

3 thoughts on “Isaac Hayes

    • This is going to sound ridiculous, but a faint weirdness residue left over from his contentious exit from South Park kept me from digging into his music when I started getting into the rest of Stax’s stuff. So glad I’ve finally gotten past that (spent all weekend listening to HBS and Black Moses). So incredible. I wonder if there’s a single moment on HBS that hasn’t been repurposed a dozen times over.

  1. Isaac Hayes and that whole Stax Soul scene was incredible. All these “kids” think that the rappers are the ones producing these killer beats and rhythms, think again! Hayes was the real thing.

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