Skip to content

Directed by Rob Hatch-Miller

United States 2015 85 mins.

Aside from a couple of minor hits, Chicago soul singer Syl Johnson retired from the music industry in the 1980s having never quite having achieved the success he longed for. But with the dawn of hip hop came the unexpected, widespread embrace of his 1967 song “Different Strokes”—sampled by artists as diverse as Run- DMC, Michael Jackson, the Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, A$AP Rocky, Kid Rock, En Vogue, Usher and Kanye West, among many others—and new opportunities for the savvy performer emerged. Rob Hatch-Miller’s lively film chronicles the ups and downs of “the best soul singer you’ve ever heard—even if you’ve never heard of him.”