Date of Interview: 02/05/2009
© 2009 Clayton Perry
Whenever a talented, promising artist has a noted and accomplished relative, comparisons are destined to abound. Such has been the case of Malcolm D. Lee, the cousin of renowned film director Spike Lee. In spite of the familial relationship, Malcolm D. Lee has been able to stand upon his exceptional talents and forge his own unique identity.
Need proof? Lee’s directorial debut, The Best Man, was the box office champ during its opening weekend (October 22-24, 1999), and to date, his movies have grossed $145,092,482 in domestic box office receipts.
On November 7, 2008, Dimension Films released Lee’s fifth project, Soul Men, which chronicles the reunion of two estranged soul-singing legends at the Apollo Theater. The film instantly became a cult classic upon entry into movie theaters, due to the deaths of comedian Bernie Mac and musician Isaac Hayes in August 2008, three months before the release date. Soul Men, as a consequence, stands as a lasting tribute to the lives of Mac and Hayes, as well as the tremendous body of work that these artists left behind.
In preparation for the DVD release of Soul Men, Malcolm D. Lee managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Bernie Mac, Isaac Hayes and the legacy of Stax Records.