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Quote of the Week: RZA on Hayes

In the year-end double issue of Entertainment Weekly, obituaries of the recently deceased were written by their peers and disciples, such as Rick Moody on David Foster Wallace, and Pete Townshend on Bo Diddley.

This is RZA (that is, Robert “RZA” Diggs, as EW identifies him, of the great rap collective the Wu Tang Clan) on Isaac Hayes (1942 – 2008) as both muse and producer:

    One Isaac Hayes song has made over 20 hip-hop songs. Look at “Walk On By.” It’s a nice three-minute song by Dionne Warwick, but when Isaac got ahold of it, it became soulful, pimp-daddy, ride-in-your-car, lean-back, 12-minute song, restructured with organs and a flute.

And Townshend noted this of Diddley: “You can’t copyright a rhythm, but if you could, Bo would have passed on a richer financial legacy.”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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