Over ten years later, you can still go to any Hip Hop club or dance party in the world, and when you hear that 1/16 note guitar lick pick-up intro for Dr. Dre‘s Xxplosive right before the beat drops, then combined with the simple drum pattern and the distinctive 1/8 note bass line, it is as fresh as the day it came out. Yes, we all know the Xxplicitness of Xxplosive, but let’s for now put the focus on the instrumentation, the musical merit of one of the most vulgar, yet timeless songs of our lifetime. Let’s pay homage to the late great Isaac Hayes, for he is the one who arranged the song Bumpy’s Lament, which gave birth to the club anthem.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Understandably, the Grammy Award winning and Oscar Award winning title track Shaft from the infamous Shaft Soundtrack gets most of the credit (As a side note, Wikipedia claims that Isaac Hayes was the first African-American to win an Oscar for a non-acting award). It has been redone, but it has more commonly been spoofed to the point of annoyance, usually as the culprits are wearing fake afros and faux 70’s attire. But on that same record are some of the best soundtrack compositions you’ll ever hear, including Bumpy’s Lament which was sampled by Dr. Dre to make Xxplosive, but it was not the Isaac Hayes Shaft Soundtrack version that was credited by Soul Mann And The Brothers, who remade the entire Shaft soundtrack, thus replaying the Isaac Hayes version.

As Isaac Hayes was a master musician, he arranged much more beyond the Shaft Soundtrack. He also contributed his musical talents to the short-lived Shaft TV Series. The Shaft Anthology Soundtrack, which is an extensive catalog for Hayes’ contribution to the Shaft franchise, features two other versions of Bumpy’s Lament. For those of you counting at home, that makes four versions of the song, each one with unique arrangement. Listen to all of the different versions, then vote on which one is you’re favorite arrangement.
Black Moses lives!

Soul Mann & the Brothers

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Alternate Version

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Bumpy’s Theme

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Original Version

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

[poll id=”10″]

We cannot mention Isaac Hayes’ Bumpy’s Lament without mentioning Erykah Badu and her usage of the sample in her song, Bag Lady which has multiple versions as well.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Follow us on Twitter