09/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Isaac Hayes: I Thank You, Black Moses

I grew up in the 70s in a place called Tenafly, New Jersey -- an extremely white town that paradoxically became the title to a short-lived black detective TV series. Apparently some producer was driving down 9W towards New York City, and thought Tenafly sounded like Superfly. Ironically, I don't think there were any black students in my school until years later when the great guitarist and singer George Benson recorded "Breezin" and moved down the block.

So clearly, I didn't exactly grow up in the shadow of Stax Records, but my world was opened up big time when I bought "Theme From Shaft" on eight track. I later bought Isaac Hayes' classic album Black Moses. This real sexy, funky, soul music forever blew my Caucasian mind, and led me to explore many of the greatest sounds ever made -- not only by Hayes, but contemporaries like Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Barry White and countless other geniuses of soul during that era. As a writer, producer, artist and even voice over talent on South Park, Hayes left his mark - "can you dig it?"

Thank you, Black Moses, for taking this lifelong fan to the promised land.