Known as the first rapper in the Philippines, Francis Magalona, also called Francis M, has contributed a lot not only to the rap industry in the country but also to Original Pilipino Music (OPM) in general. He was called “The King of Pinoy Rap,” and was idolized by young, aspiring rappers as well as respected musicians in the industry. Born on October 4, 1964, Francis M is the son of movie legends Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. He started his career in entertainment as a breakdancer during the 1980s. He ventured into acting and emceeing. In 1990, Francis M released his first album Yo! featuring the nationalistic hit single “Mga Kababayan.” Yo! is the first commercially released rap record in the country, and helped catapult the Pinoy Hip Hop scene into the mainstream. The album also marked the birth of nationalistic rap in the country.
In 1992, Francis M released his second album, Rap is FrancisM, which became known as one of the greatest Philippine rap albums. The record included hits such as “Mga Praning”, “Halalan” and “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy”. Rap is FrancisM further promoted political consciousness among Pinoy audiences. Later on, Francis M decided to experiment with Pinoy rock and collaborated with other OPM artists to explore the genre. This influenced his third album, Meron Akong Ano! (1993) and his fourth one, Freeman (1995).
Aside from his successful music career, Francis M was also busy with his numerous hosting stints. He was one of the hosts of Eat Bulaga!, the longest-running noontime show in the country. He also became one of the First FilipinoVJs for MTV Asia, along with Donita Rose and Regine Tolentino. Recently, he was one of the judges for the Philippine counterpart of the reality talent show American Idol.
Francis M came out with four more studio albums before he released his greatest hits compilation, The Best of FrancisM. He continued to collaborate with more OPM artists, most notably the Eraserheads and Parokya ni Edgar. The rapper also created a clothing line, a production company and his own record company, Red Egg Records.
In August 2008, Francis M was diagnosed with leukemia. Fans and supporters from all over the country donated blood to help him recover from his condition. He was able to get through the initial stages of his treatment and was back on his feet to work on more music projects and his hosting duties. Sadly, the rapper succumbed to the disease a few days after his fourth chemotherapy session. Francis M died March 6, 2009. He is survived by his wife Pia and his eight children.
– 1990 Mga Kababayan (E.P. Dance Remix)
– 1990 Gotta Let ‘Cha Know (E.P.)
– 1990 Yo!
– 1992 Rap Is Francis M
– 1993 Meron Akong Ano! (I have something!)
– 1995 Freeman
– 1996 Happy Battle (featuring his band “Hardware Syndrome”)
– 1998 The Oddventures of Mr. Cool
– 1999 Interscholastic
– 2001 Freeman 2
– 2002 The Best of FrancisM
– 2004 Pambihira Ka Pauliene Caballita (Single)
– 2008 F Word