In early 1971, Hayes composed music for the soundtrack of the blaxploitation film Shaft, in the movie, he also appeared in a cameo role as the bartender. The title theme, with its wah-wah guitar and multi-layered arrangement, would become a worldwide hit single, and spent two weeks at number one in the Billboard Hot 100 in November. The remainder of the album was mostly instrumentals covering big beat jazz, bluesy funk, and hard Stax-styled soul. The other two vocal songs, the "Soulville" and the 19-minute jam "Do Your Thing," would be edited down to hit singles.
Later the track was succesfully covered by Lyn Collins on James Brown's Funky People Pt. 2 Polydor in 1972.