I first got exposed to the name KASHIF by either Radio…video(BET)….music publications (RIGHT ON!…Black Beat & Rock & Soul)…or my dad’s record collection. Now because I was a soldier in the purple army I had the MPLS sound covered. Dad with his record buying provided the mature music balance for my ears. Whenever he brought something in I would always check for it. Generally I could tell by album cover if it would be something I could try to listen to. Also my dad was very supportive of artists. Meaning..if he bought an artist 1st album he’d buy the 2nd or 3rd. Or if he discovered them late he would go back and buy their earlier albums. Such was the case with “Kenny G”.

I can vividly remember seeing Kenny G’s first two albums…”Kenny G” and “G-Force” in our family den. I remember them being played in the back ground while my dad I battled it out on the “Atari”. So it was no surprise when in the spring of 85 he came home with the “Gravity” album. However by this point because I was getting into music I was starting to develop a habit of reading album credits. I came across this name I had seen in a few of my magazines “KASHIF” . Spring was upon us weather was breaking… I decided to give the album a listen. For a kid who was into the MPLS sound I dug it! It was probably the 1st instrumental album I played in rotation with my current favs. Now before you start making funny faces and hisses. This was the ’85 Kenny G. Pre-Songbird Kenny G. He had a slight afro and his music seemed quite urban based. I noticed Kashif did a lot of work on the album. I still wasn’t aware of the magnitude of his contributions but I made note that he was a “player” – musician. At some point I just happened to glance at the credits on “G-Force” and see the name “KASHIF” again. Ok I thought he’s no one trick pony. While taking a family road trip I was re-reading some of the magazines I had. We did that before social media. I came across a couple of articles on KASHIF in Rock & Soul. I had never read it before so I figured why not now. Ironically dad had…”Gravity” playing on the van stereo. In the same magazine in the back they had lyrics printed out of the popular r&b songs at that time. I saw Kashif’s name on quite a few tunes.

In the coming months I would see KASHIF as a guest on “Video Soul”. My sister would discover Whitney Houston and got her album as b-day gift. Who was featured as a producer on that album “KASHIF”. Later dad would come home with the Kenny G’s album “Duotones”. I glance at the album cover no slight afro..glanced at the credits for familiar names…no Kashif. I passed on it. But that summer VH1 played “Songbird” to 5million album sales. Years later while snowed in…watching VIDEO SOUL …they debuted the “Love Changes” vid with KASHIF and Me’lisa Morgan. One of my fave re-makes of that song. While we here at GFM are celebrating all things KASHIF I was reminded of how pivotal his work was in round about way in my development of music.The role he has played in the history of r&b music. Yeah “Gravity” and Whitney’s debut may sound dated by some of today’s standard but so does a lot of great music made in the 80s. But they severed a bigger purpose for me and 4 that I say to KASHIF – thank you!