|Birth name||Edgardo Franco|
|Also known as||El General|
September 27, 1964 |
Panama City, Panama
|Genres||Reggae en Español, reggaeton, ragga|
|Labels||RCA International/BMG, Sony Music Latin|
|Drums, vocals, keyboard|
El General (born Edgardo Franco) is a Panamanian Reggae artist considered by some to be one of the Fathers of Reggaeton. During the early 1990s, he initiated the Spanish spoken dancehall that would later become reggaeton. Early examples of this were the international and somewhat mainstream songs, “Te Ves Buena” and “Tu Pum Pum.” Both songs, performed in Spanish rap, were very successful in North America. After getting his foot in the door of the commercial market, many other Spanish rappers became famous in the mainstream as well, such as Vico C and DJ Negro. He has a unique, easy to listen to style of dance music and has produced many well known songs all over Latin America. His musical works have become popular in Latin America over the last few years. This style is called Reggae en Español, which would later form Reggaeton, because he makes dancehall reggae music with Spanish-language lyrics.
El General began singing and composing songs at the age of 12 in Arzeno Urtado, his home. After getting a scholarship, the young artist moved to the U.S. to study business administration, soon becoming a professional accountant. He started his career when he was 19 years old, and during 17 years, his albums achieved gold status 32 times and platinum 17 times, and several other awards. El General's type of music from Dominicana was something much different from the reggae of Jamaica. The popular music in Panama was called petroleo.
Songs like "Muevelo" (1991), "Tu Pum Pum" (1988), "Rica y Apretadita", and "Te Ves Buena" are among his greatest hits In 1992, El General received an MTV award for best Latin video with the great success of "Muevelo" produced by Pablo "Pabanor" Ortiz & Erick "More" Morillo. In 1993, El General won the Rap Artist of the Year Award at the Lo Nuestro Awards.
His breakout performance came in 1994, when he was featured on the song Robi-Rob's Boriqua Anthem Part 2 from C+C Music Factory's the "Anything Goes" album. During this time the he started working with Chino Rodriguez a major impresario in the Latin music industry who convince Franco aka El General, (as his close friends and family would call him) to perform a Salsa song before his performance with Robi-Rob's Boriqua Anthem, the performance was at the world famous Madison Square Garden produced by Mr. Ralph Mercado owner of RMM Records and always produced large Latino events in New York. The fans were completely surprised that El General (Franco) sang a Salsa Song as well as Mr. Ralph Mercado who gave El General more time in the tight schedule of stage allotment to do the Salsa song before the scheduled performance with Boriqua Anthem, Chino Rodriguez was able to convince Mr. Ralph Mercado to allow more time so that El General could surprise his fans.
In 2004, he announced his retirement from the music industry after an incident with the government of Panama because of the cancellation of his diplomatic passport. However, he alleged he would dedicate more time to his career as a producer and entrepreneur.
He is currently dedicated to his foundation Niños Pobres Sin Fronteras (Poor Children Without Borders) in Panama City hosting a program of his own called Sal, Azúcar, Miel y Canela (Salt, Sugar, Honey and Cinnamon) at Radio Kids.
- No Me Va a Matar (1990)
- Estás Buena (1990)
- Muevelo Con el General (1991)
- El Poder del General (1992)
- Es Mundial (1994)
- Clubb 555 (1995)
- Rapa Pan Pan (1997)
- Move It Up (1998)
- Grandes Éxitos (1998)
- Colección Original (1998)
- Serie 2000 (2000)
- Back To The Original (2001)
- IS BACK (2001)
- General De Fiesta (2002)
- El General The Hits (2003)
- To' Rap-Eao (2003)
- La Ficha Clave (2004)
- Santos, Mayra. 1996. "Puerto Rican Underground." Centro 8, no. 1 & 2: 219-231.
- Marshall, Wayne. 2008. "Música Negra to Reggaeton Latino:The Cultural Politics of Nation, Migration, and Commercialization." 10
- EL GENERAL BIOGRAPHY - Reggaeton Fever
- "Lo Nuestro 1993 – Historia". Univision (in Spanish). Univision Communications, Inc. 1993. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "Gobierno panameño anula pasaporte diplomático a Sean Connery". emol. 1 October 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- EL GENERAL BIOGRAPHY - Reggaeton Fever