Born Gerald C. Calliste Jr., Hashim, as the world knows him, has been one of the most influential Electro Funk producers of all time, with his particular style perhaps being the key factor in the evolution of the sound into its modern successor, the Electro Bass style.
For example, Keith Tucker from AUX 88 claims Hashim’s “Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)” as being one of the main influences in the development of their Detroit Techno Bass sound. But it isn’t just in Detroit where you see the effects of Hashim's work, his influence on the music industry as a whole is evident across many genres, and in many countries.
Released in 1983 on Cutting Records, “Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)” is still to this day considered one of the pillars of Hip Hop and Electro Funk; perhaps being as influential as “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa, or “Clear” by Cybotron. The record has sold millions since its release, and has been licensed to countless compilations across the globe, on labels like Streetsounds (UK), BCM Records (Germany), Max Music (Spain), and Injection Disco Dance Label (Netherlands). The song was also licensed to the classic video games: “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2003), “NBA Shootout 2004” (2004), and “DJ Hero: Renegade Edition” (2009.
Hot on the heels of The Soul, Hashim would follow up in 1984 with yet another seminal classic, “We are Rocking The Planet”, once again on Cutting Records, and featuring 2 different versions, as well as 2 different cuts of the bonus beats. The song would also be released on JCI Records, on their “Street Sounds” compilation; but should in no way be confused with the UK label Streetsounds. Also in 1984, Calliste would help found the group “Imperial Brothers”, which is another iconic Electro Funk group, and released the hit “We Come To Rock”. He would also collaborate on the song “Crush”, by the “Magnificient Three and The Fearless Master”, released on 12” vinyl on C.C.L. Records.
In 1985, Hashim returned with the compilation release of the song “It’s Nasty” on Tommy Boy Records, and would also go on to help write the final record released by the Imperial Brothers, “Live It Up”, which also came out on Cutting Records. He would also co-produce and record the song “Crime Of Passion”, as Soft Touch with Duane Taylor and Aldo Marin, which was released on Cutting Records.
Hashim would go on to release “Primrose Path” in 1986, which was another classic old school jam with inspiring synth lines, abstract vocoders, and classy beats the way it was done in those days. The song would later make it on to the Streetsounds Hip Hop Electro Vol. 11, as well as Dave Clarke’s X-Mix Electro Boogie compilation in 1996. This year, Hashim would also write the infamous “U.K. Fresh ’86 (The Anthem)”, with MC Devon on Streetsounds Records’ sub-label “Streetwave”, for the historic UK Fresh '86 party at Wembley Arena London.
In 1987, to the surprise of his fans, Hashim would change gears quite a bit compared to what they had been used to, releasing the song “I Don’t Need Your Love” on Precise Records; a Freestyle track inspired by House and Techno music, but fused with the particular style and sound that Hashim was known for.
Throughout the '90s, and early '00s, Hashim's two biggest hits, "Al-Naafiysh", and "We Are Rocking The Planet", continued to be released on countless compilations on many labels around the world. It is important to also note that in 2001, Calliste founded the label “Bassmint Music”, which aimed at being one of the first online shops for different genres of music, and also became a popular promoter of nightclub events in the Ohio area in the US. So far however, only one release have been published, but features 6 new cuts by the artist.
We can only await for more news, and hope that Hashim returns with more material in the future, redefined, and ready to set the bar even higher that before. For now, looking back on his great influential works is enough, even if just for the sheer sense of nostalgia towards an era in which so much of it began for our music. Hashim's inspiring melodies, funky basslines, and relentless beats, became the soundtrack for that time, still to this day making it hard not to have the vocoder line "It's time!" come to mind when one thinks of the olden days.