March 6, 2009

Francis Magalona (1964-2009)


Francis Magalona, 1964-2009

Francis M. Man from Manila. The Mouth. Master Rapper. Poet. Singer. Dancer. Actor. Host. Producer. Director. Artist. Photographer. Entrepreneur. Family Man. Fighter. Legend. Visionary. Patriot. Idol. Hero. Genius. Icon. Inspiration.

Thank you for the music and for the inspiration. Rest in peace.



*****

Time and date: Noontime, 10 March 2009
Mood: Reflecting
Song in mind: "Gone Too Soon", Michael Jackson/Babyface

Gone Too Soon... So appropriate. Francis M left us so soon. Still young and full of life and plenty more things to do and to accomplish. I'm thinking, God must be in need of a rapper in His House, and so God called him to come home. I feel for FM's family. What a huge loss. And his children, especially the little ones... Losing a parent at a very tender age is an unimaginable pain. In behalf of K24/7, I send our condolences to the family and friends of Francis M. I include you in my prayers.

We may be mourning right now. But at the same time, let's also celebrate the life and legacy of Francis M. Let's look back at the wonderful things he did. Obviously, what struck me the most is his music. Francis M is an icon of our generation, and I grew up listening to his music. I even enjoy playing his music, especially the ones he did with his band, Hardware Syndrome. Kaleidoscope World, Nais Ko, Ito Ang Gusto Ko, Kabataan Para Sa Kinabukasan, Luv 4 Lyf, Girl Be Mine... I love his music. We all love his music. Last weekend, we played Kaleidoscope World on our gigs. Though everyone was emotional, the song felt so good. It's probably everybody's favorite Francis M song.

The first time I saw and heard Francis M perform live was at a school fair in Miriam, back in my high school days, around '95 or '96. I was so thrilled because during that time, rock and hip-hop/rap fusion was becoming popular, plus the fact that Hardware Syndrome is a band of excellent musicians. I was more of a rocker back then; but thanks to Francis M, I got to appreciate rap and hip-hop music even more.

A few years ago, we (K24/7) performed at the Earth Day celebration. Many artists of different styles highlighted the event. Francis M and Hardware Syndrome played that night, and boy, they rocked the place! I remember FM rapping impromptu, saying something like, "I'm Francis Magalona, I'm 41 years old, and I'm still number one..." That really brought the house down, and we had the goosebumps after hearing that. He performed so hard that night. It's all heart. We witnessed Francis M in his prime.

I never met Francis M, nor shook his hand or bumped shoulders with him. But I am forever in gratitude to him, for all the inspiration and for setting an example.
He's a role model of our generation. A brave individual who was never afraid to speak his mind. A hard worker who reached his dreams. An icon of national pride.

FM is in my "artists whom I'd like to work with someday" wish list. I won't be able to have that opportunity anymore, not even a jam session; and I envy the musicians who were able to work and play music with him, and become dear friends with him. Though gone, he still remains on my list. Maybe someday, somewhere, on the next life, I'll have the chance to play drums for him.

Francis M is a gift from God. He will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

*****

For those of you who are not aware of Francis M's Multiply sites, here are the links.
a Free Mind - Francis M's Multiply site. Read through his blogs. The man had an intense passion in life. For me, this has become a journal of his last few years in life, as seen from his very own point of view. I got teary-eyed reading some of his old blog entries.

FrancisM Clothing Co. - 3 Stars & a Sun - Francis M's clothing line. This is the real deal (please, don't buy the imitations).

FrancisM's Happy Battle - An online documentary of Francis M's battle against the big C, as posted by FM and his family (a friendly warning: some photos are not for the faint of heart).

*****

The Hardware Syndrome - This is probably my favorite FM blog entry. Here, he talked about his band, its history, its members, and a few interesting stories.

I Love Rashied, and Rashied is dead - I was moved by these two old FM blog entries (written in 2005). And it's chilling that FM's young friend and fan succumbed to leukemia, the same disease which will challenge FM in the future.

PRIDE - FM talks about his FMCC clothing line.

Rizal - A Man Ahead Of His Time - FM talks about our national hero. He wrote this on Rizal Day, December 30, just last year.

And I want you to check out DJ Myke's tribute to Francis M (bro, ang gara talaga ng gawa mo, I just have to share it). This is beautiful stuff.

If you know any more interesting Francis M sites, please share the link. =)