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 reggae music with Spanish lyrics.
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 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 the 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.
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.
In 2007, he became a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, to which his grandmother also is a member. Now he spends his time teaching others about the Bible.