Remembering Francis M.: King of Filipino Rap

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3 years ago

Actor, Entrepreneur, Rapper, Photographer, VJ, and a loving father to his family. Before eX-Battalion, Skusta Clee, Pricetagg, Manila Grey, Loonie, Abra, Shanti Dope, and other Pinoy Rappers, there was Francis Michael Durango Magalona - also known as Francis M.

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Yesterday, he turned 56. Born to actors Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, both popular film stars from the 40s & 50s. From his career, he started as a breakdancer in the 80s. Featured in other films and as a resident VJ for a local channel. Let's take a look back at Francis M's discography.

"Yo!" released in 1990 which marked the birth of Makabayang (Nationalistic in English) Rap and came to a big success changing its status from underground to mainstream.

In 1992, Rap is FrancisM contains various issues to drug addiction, political instability & colonial mentality which has detrimental effects.

In the following year, his experimentation of rap & Pinoy rock released his 3rd album titled Meron Akong Ano! (I Got Something! - which is also a popular hit single. Covered by Kamikazee ft. Chito Miranda of Parokya ni Edgar, Ian Tayao of Quezo & Reg Rubio of Greyhoundz in 2011) and led to the formation of superband Hardware Syndrome. Following the success of his 3rd album, he collaborated with other artists.

Moved to another record label a year later and in 1995, Freeman was released, under this album the hit single Kaleidoscope World and the Music Video itself directed by Raymond Red. The following year (1996), Happy Battle was released in reference to his battle with Leukemia. In the same year, Kaleidoscope World won 2 awards - the Awit Award for Best Produced Record of the Year and the NU Rock Award for Song of the Year.

2 years later (1998) The Oddventures of Mr. Cool was released. Eraserheads' Alapaap (Heaven) was used as a beat sample from his hit single A whole out of lovin'.

Interscholastic (1999) which featured adaptations of various artists' songs; and Freeman 2 (2001), which would echo many of the themes that had made the first Freeman album so popular.

After his death in 2009, the Sickos Project (later named as In Love and War) was released posthumously. In collaboration with Ely Buendia and other artists, the hit single Higante (Giant) dealing with their illness & strengths. Both Ely & Francis were having health problems during that time.

A passionate photographer - a member of the Camera Club of the Philippines. Distributor of 3 Stars & the Sun - a clothing line under Francis M. Clothing Co. Director and founder of Filipino Pictures Inc. which he worked with SpongeCola's KLSP and won Best Rock Video at MYX Music Awards 2006. Actor, Co-Host of Eat Bulaga! and VJ of MTV Asia.

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March 6, 2009 (6 months before the release of The Sickos Project), Eat Bulaga! made the announcement of his passing, his death sparked the whole nation. I was about to graduate High School at that time when I heard the news. Thousands of fans, including artists who paid tribute to Magalona's contribution to our music and to national pride. Numerous programs, from variety shows to primetime newscasts and late night news documentaries, paid tribute to the King of Filipino Rap.

A Day after (March 7, 2009), Eraserheads' "The Final Set" reunion concert dedicated the event to Francis M. and should appear as a special surprise guest. Cremated days later and his ashes were laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City. As a reservist of the armed forces with the rank of Sargeant, he was given military honors in recognition to his patriotism and service. With the efforts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit, for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us.

Times may have passed, but his contribution to our music, national pride and the Filipino Hip-Hop gave way to other artists like Gloc-9, Krazykyle, Bassilyo & Loonie continuing the legacy of the one and only king, Francis M.

#3StarsandtheSun #FilipinoHipHop #OPM #PinoyRapRock

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