Francis M

Free Man

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In 1995, male Philippine rapper Francis M released Free Man, his first album for BMG Records Philippines after previously recording for OctoArts. Francis M is accompanied by his backing band, the Hardware Syndrome. Much of the music is guitar-driven, replete with searing guitar fills and solos, as heard in the opening "Baw-waw-waw," as well as the excellent "Funky Monkey," "Kabataan Para Sa Kinabukasan" (Youth for the Future), and "Puso ng Siga" (Heart of a Gangster), among a host of others. Aside from being a respected pioneer in the field of Philippine rap, Francis M is known for his love and concern for his country, and accordingly, one of the album's best songs is the patriotic-tinged "Three Stars and a Sun" (the title describes the emblem of the Philippine flag). In addition to his gritty rapping, he also sings soulful melodies and choruses, as heard on "Jolog," "Kaleidoscope World" (which samples the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere"), "Mahiwagang Kamote" (Magic Kamote), and the folkish "Pektus." Free Man is an excellent album, one of the best ever made in the Philippines.

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