“The King of Philippine Rap Music”
November 30, 2009
“So many faces, so many races different voices, different choices. Some are mad, while others laugh. Some live alone with no better half. Others grieve while others curse. And others mourn behind a big black hearse. Some are pure and some half-bred. Some are sober and some are wasted. Some are rich because of fate and some are poor with no food on their plate.” These words were rapped by one of the most influential people in the Philippine music industry, Francis Magalona. He made a trailblazing entry through the introduction of rap in the Filipino language. Magalona used this ingenious advancement in the music industry to incite a patriotic and nationalistic thinking to people during a time of hardship. He always succeeded in leaving an impression on many Filipino people with every album he delivered.
Francisco “Kiko” Magalona or as he is best know as Francis M., Master Rapper, and The Man From Manila was born on October 4, 1964, by the late Philippine movie star legends, Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. He first started out as a breakdancer in the early 1980s and then branched out into the music industry. It was in 1990 when Magalona released the innovative album, “Yo,” which features the patriotic hit Mga Kababyan, My Countrymen, where he advocated Filipinos to be proud of their culture and to strive for a better life. The album was the first Pinoy rap album in the Philippines, which plummeted Filipino hip-hop from being unseen to mainstream status. Rapping political and intriguing rhymes in both English and Tagalog made Magalona such a successful rapper.
In his following albums, “Rap Is FrancisM” and “Meron Akong ano”, Magalona showed the public how talented he really was. He was able to address the various cultural and social issues that afflicted his country, such as drugs and instability, and marked the beginning of Pinoy rock through his third album, “Meron Akong ano.” By the end of his third album, Magalona was able to prove to everyone that he was a remarkable artist in both rock and hip-hop.
After his third album, Magalona decided to open up his own record company called Red Egg Record. But as time went on, he was also able to follow in his parent’s footsteps and undertake the acting world. Appearing in a variety of Filipino films and television shows, such as Eat Bulaga and MTV Asia, Magalona portrayed an overall well roundedness. Although he was able to become a songwriter, producer, and actor, Magalona will always be remembered for his contributions to the music world. His contributions have been featured in many international hip-hop publications, such as the “All Music Guide to Hip-hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop.”
Francis Magalona, known as the King of Philippine rap music, died of complications from leukemia in March 6, 2009. Although he wasn’t able to live a long life, the legacy he left is truly a treasure to be acceded by those who support the same love he had for his nation. As an artist, Megalona was able to inspire his fellow Filipinos through his lyrics.