In 2009, the Philippines witnessed the loss of one of its most iconic and celebrated rappers. He brought to us, Filipinos, our everyday anthems such as Kaleidescope World, Cold Summer Nights, 3 Stars and a Sun, Girl Be Mine, SuperProxy 2K6, and the track list could go on. As we move forward, ten years later in time, we remember rather the battle the late Francis Magalona won in his fight to give rappers alike the recognition they deserved, the recognition they now enjoy today.
Apoc of independent hip hop collective, UPRISING, recalls the year 2003 when local rap was seen as “baduy” and not widely accepted just yet.
“It’s 2003, established na si Francis M. noon, pero tinutulungan niya pa rin ang bagong henerasyon para isulong yung isinusulong namin hanggang ngayon. Nowadays, mas widely accepted ang Tagalog rap, pero mind you, 2003, ang Tagalog rap-- “baduy,” “jologs”-- pero isa si Francis M. na naniwala sa ginagawa namin at tinutuloy namin ngayon.”
Francis Magalona took the hip hop scene by storm and created songs with messages that have remained relevant over time. This allowed him to establish a legacy the nation continues to keep close to their hearts to this day.
Rapper KJah, currently active in the scene with beat-maker Juss Rye, captures a line from one of the Master Rapper’s famous songs “Mga Kababayan Ko.”
"Ang pinaka-tumatak na katha ni Francis M. sa’kin ay yung taludtod nyang ‘Gumitna ka at huwag kumampi.’ Ang pag-intindi nito sakin ay ang pagiging parehas at patas sa lahat ng panig. Walang kinikilingan at bukas sa anumang opinyon. Hindi lang sa sigalot kundi pati na rin sa anumang uri ng diskusyon at ugnayan.”
The Man From Manila is known as the first Filipino rapper to cross over Filipino hip hop music into the mainstream but he did not let this fame get into his head. He strongly believed in the likes of Apoc and KJah to help budding acts establish their names. He saw the potential of these artists to grow, brought it out of them, and lent them a hand to turn it into something great.
Several other local artists outside the genre of hip hop, including Cheats, Ely Buendia, Ang Bandang Shirley, Joey Ayala, and The Rusty Machines prove that the influence of Francis Magalona was not solely absorbed by rappers. These musicians, along with UPRISING and KJah x Juss Rye, joined the community of Linya-Linya last November 16 at the Social House, Circuit Makati for a tribute night in light of his 10th death anniversary. They performed their rendition of his songs and shared stories remembering their best memories of him with a mix of his family, friends, and fans listening in the audience. Also on the same day, Linya-Linya and Francis M. Clothing Co successfully launched a limited-edition collaboration t-shirt that notes his greatest hits and is now available in stores and online at www.linyalinya.ph.
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