The estate of the late artist, actor, singer and songwriter Isaac Hayes spoke out in protest of the misuse of the song "Hold On, I'm Comin'" by former Republican President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA).
Trump appeared Friday May 27, at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Houston, Texas just three days and about 275 miles from the latest mass shooting. On Tuesday, a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The gunman used an AR-15—purchased legally shortly after turning 18 thanks to lax gun laws in Texas. NRA-ILA—part of the larger NRA organization—works to support gun rights by writing more lax gun regulations or blocking more restrictive ones at state and federal levels.
Speaking to gun rights advocates, Trump read the names—mispronouncing most—of those murdered at the school...
...which people found in very poor taste given the event's organizer and audience.
Immediately after, the song written by Hayes and David Porter—recorded and released by R&B duo Sam and Dave in 1966—was played as Trump did a little dance on stage.
The family of Hayes were not fans of the choice.
They made their feelings known Saturday afternoon on social media, tweeting:
"The estate and family of Isaac Hayes DID NOT approve and would NEVER approve the use of 'Hold on I’m Comin’' by Sam and Dave by Donald Trump at this weekend's [NRA] convention."
"Our condolences go out to the victims and families of #Uvalde and mass shooting victims everywhere."
The song—alternatively titled "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Hold On, I'm A Comin'"—begins with the lyrics:
"Don't you ever feel sad"
"Lean on me when times are bad"
"When the day comes and you're down"
"In a river of trouble and about to drown"
"Just hold on, I'm comin'"
"Hold on, I'm comin'"
Whether the song was chosen randomly or for it's message, the NRA-ILA and Trump dancing as an offering of support to victims of gun violence struck many as extremely distasteful, including Hayes songwriting collaborator David Porter .
Saturday night, Porter tweeted:
"Someone shared with me Donald Trump used the song 'Hold On I’m Coming' for a speaking appearance of his."
"Hell to the No!"
"I did Not and would NOT approve of them using the song for any of his purposes! I also know Isaac’s estate wouldn’t approve as well!"
People appreciate both Hayes' family and Porter speaking out even if they're unable to stop the song's use by Trump or the NRA.
This is hardly the first time a musical artist or their estate took exception to Trump using their music for his MAGA rallies or other appearances.
Unfortunately, licensing is often done through the venue, allowing them to use music for a wide variety of events without specific approval on a case by case basis.