Bloggin 4 Beats: R.I.P. Isaac Hayes

JLBarrow • August 11, 2008 • 1 Comment

Can’t believe it. Isaac Hayes? Gone? No warning. I’m sure my bloggin peers have a ton of things in the works to pay tribute to the man, but for now I’m republishing some things from my Low End Theories beat blog. I went through a phase of sampling Mr. Hayes about a year ago…

From “Church For Thugs” on Low End Theories….August 31, 2007

Listening to Eric Sermon and Parish Smith is the closest I’ve come to church in a while, but sometimes you can’t ignore what the music is telling you to do. Pass the collection plate.

I know I’ve been beating ya’ll in the head with Isaac Hayes but Black Moses has been talking to me. Crazy Scientology aside, “Need To Belong to Someone” is one of those records where Eric Cartman could replace every pro-noun with the word “Jesus” and go platinum in the Bible belt (all my Southpark fans know what I’m talking about.) Maybe not the parts about being kissed and held, but there is a serious gospeldelic vibe going on here between the horn and string arrangements and the background singers. So I just lifted two vocal sections–those chilly “oooos” and the low Sunday morning “mmmmms”– and carved out two main breaks.

Before I started chopping I set my BPMs at about 90 because I didn’t want the beat to come out as slow as “Longing To Be”. With the tempo set I added some looping kicks to act as sort of a metronome and then I began chopping. I created about 5 different segments playing with all of the different sounds and ultimately picked the three that I liked the most. Once I added claps over the snares I could see the robes swinging and Pastor Offering’s Jeri curl dripping, that’s when I named the track. I created an MP3 and brought it into Adobe Audition where I placed the sample pieces at the beginning and some echo effects to open and close the show…

[audio:HolyGhost.mp3]

It’s got all kinds of sonic issues, but it was one of my first beats so I put it up just as I made it.

Later that year I did another beat based on Hayes’ “For The Good Times” and blogged about it after I thought I lost my ipod…

Now I understand more than ever why producers put out instrumental projects. Sometimes you want the music to speak for itself without bending to the will of a voice (other than the ones in your head of course.)

I’m not lazy, just a little bummed out. It appears that I have lost my ipod, a black 60GB ipod video that my wife bought me for Christmas two years ago. In addition to about 30 gigs of classic hip-hop it had eight playlists of my beats. Totally sucks. Yes, everything is backed up on my Alien but it has obvious sentimental value. I’m gonna snap out of it soon enough. Some good things seem to be on the horizon to balance it all out.

Today’s beat was done out of the exasperation of my remix project. I welcomed the challenge of doing over Nas, Pac, Jigga and Biggie, but needed to exhale and let the music do its own thing.

I had so much disregard for vocals that I took the voices from Isaac Hayes’ “For The Good Times” from his Black Moses album and made them instruments. I didn’t care if the words made sense, I just wanted the sound. I set my bpms at 90, laid my kicks, snares and a bassline, then chopped up the vocals along 3 or 4 channels until I got something I liked.

The process took me all of ten minutes which is why I named it “Just Another Beat” and kept it moving. But as I played it in my ipod last friday–the last time I had it–I liked it and decided to share.

[audio:Justanotherbeat.mp3]

Lastly, my most recent creation was remix of Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” using a sped-up loop of Hayes’ “Ike’s Mood.” It was the horns…they just seemed perfect to keep the mood but give it a different feel. It’s actually one of my favorite remixes. You can peep the original blog HERE.

[audio:rocboysremix.mp3]

R.I.P. Isaac Hayes…thank you for giving us so much beautiful music.

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