El General

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This article is about the Panamanian reggae en español artist. For the Tunisian rapper, see El Général.
El General
El general.jpg
Background information
Birth name Edgardo Armando Franco
Also known as El General
Born (1969-09-27) September 27, 1969 (age 47)
Rio Abajo, Panama
Genres Reggae en Español, reggaeton, ragga
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1990–2004
Labels RCA International/BMG, Sony Music Latin
Notable instruments
Drums, vocals, keyboard

Edgardo Armando Franco, better known as El General, is a Panamanian reggae artist considered by some to be one of the Fathers Of "Reggae En Espanol".[citation needed] During the early 1990s, he initiated the Spanish spoken dancehall. 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.[1] 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, because he makes dancehall reggae music with Spanish-language lyrics.

Early history[edit]

El General began singing and composing songs at the age of 12 in Rio Abajo, 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 Panama was something much different from the reggae of Jamaica. The popular music in Panama was called plena.[2]

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 and Erick "More" Morillo.[3] In 1993, El General won the Rap Artist of the Year Award at the Lo Nuestro Awards.[4]

His breakout performance came in 1994, when he was featured on the song "Robi-Rob's Boriqua Anthem" from C+C Music Factory's album Anything Goes. During this time, he started working with Chino Rodriguez, a major impresario in the Latin music industry, who convinced Franco a.k.a El General (as his close friends and family would call him), to perform a salsa song before his performance of "Robi-Rob's Boriqua Anthem". The performance was at the world famous Madison Square Garden produced by Ralph Mercado (owner of RMM Records and who always produced large Latino events in New York). The fans were surprised that El General (Franco) sang a salsa song as well as Ralph Mercado who gave El General more time in the tight schedule of stage allotment to do the salsa song before the scheduled performance of "Boriqua Anthem". Chino Rodriguez was able to convince Ralph Mercado to allow more time so that El General could surprise his fans.[citation needed]

Later career[edit]

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.[5] 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 (1988)
  • Estás Buena (1989)
  • 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)



  1. ^ a b Santos, Mayra. 1996. "Puerto Rican Underground." Centro 8, no. 1 & 2: 219-231.
  2. ^ a b Marshall, Wayne. 2008. "Música Negra to Reggaeton Latino:The Cultural Politics of Nation, Migration, and Commercialization." 10
  3. ^ EL GENERAL BIOGRAPHY - Reggaeton Fever
  4. ^ "Lo Nuestro 1993 – Historia". Univision (in Spanish). Univision Communications, Inc. 1993. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Gobierno panameño anula pasaporte diplomático a Sean Connery". emol. 1 October 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  6. ^ EL GENERAL BIOGRAPHY - Reggaeton Fever