Francis Michael Durango Magalona (October 4, 1964 – March 6, 2009), also known by the moniker Francis M, was a Filipino rapper, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur & television personality. He is widely regarded as the best and the most successful local Filipino rapper of all-time. Born in Manila, he is often credited as the pioneer of Pinoy hip-hop as he was the first Filipino rapper in the Philippines to cross over into the mainstream. He became a significant influence to artists in the Pinoy hip-hop scene & the local rap community.
Beyond music, Magalona was also a television host on MTV Asia and Channel V Philippines and on the noontime variety television show Eat Bulaga!. Magalona died on March 6, 2009, seven months after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Magalona was later awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. The award’s citation noted that it had been given “for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us.”
Magalona would ultimately be cited not just the “King of Philippine Rap” but also “The Father of Pinoy Hip Hop”. Magalona’s contributions to the genre have been featured in several international hip hop publications including the All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop (2003) published by Backbeat Books; as well as the May 2004 issue of the U.S.-based publication The Source. He was also given the Pioneer Hall of Fame Award by Empire Entertainment at the 1st Annual Philippine Hip-Hop Music Awards in 2005