|Genres||Reggae en Español, reggaeton, ragga|
|Labels||RCA International/BMG, Sony Music Latin|
Edgardo Armando Franco, better known as El General, is a Panamanian reggae artist considered by some to be one of the fathers of "Reggae Español". 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 Pun Pun". 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, because he makes dancehall reggae music with Spanish-language lyrics and is an early precursor to reggaeton.
El General began singing and composing songs at the age of 12 in Río 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 very much plagiarized from the reggae of Jamaica. The popular music in Panama was called plena.
Songs like "Muevelo" (1991), "Tu Pun Pun" (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. 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" from C+C Music Factory's album Anything Goes. During this time, he started working with Chino Rodriguez, a major entrepreneur 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.