Narcocorrido

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Narcocorrido
Stylistic originsMariachi
Ranchera
Polka
Country
Blues
Norteño
Banda
Cultural origins Mexico Early 20th century Mexico
Typical instrumentsAccordion
Acoustic guitar
Trumpet
Tuba
Bajo Sexto
Drums
Vocals
Derivative formsCorridos Alterados
Corridos Progressivos
Rock & roll
Hip-hop
Chicano rap
Gangster rap
Regional scenes
Mexico (with origins in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Durango, Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacán)

United States (notably in the states of California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada)

Central America (notably in Honduras and Guatemala)

South America (notably in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia)
 
Jump to: navigation, search


Narcocorrido
Narcocorrido
Stylistic originsMariachi
Ranchera
Polka
Country
Blues
Norteño
Banda
Cultural origins Mexico Early 20th century Mexico
Typical instrumentsAccordion
Acoustic guitar
Trumpet
Tuba
Bajo Sexto
Drums
Vocals
Derivative formsCorridos Alterados
Corridos Progressivos
Rock & roll
Hip-hop
Chicano rap
Gangster rap
Regional scenes
Mexico (with origins in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Durango, Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacán)

United States (notably in the states of California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada)

Central America (notably in Honduras and Guatemala)

South America (notably in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia)

A narcocorrido (Spanish pronunciation: [narkokoˈriðo], Drug Ballad) is a type of Mexican music and song tradition which evolved out of the norteño folk corrido tradition. This type of music is heard on both sides of the US–Mexican border. It uses a danceable, accordion-based polka as a rhythmic base. The first corridos that focus on drug smugglers—the narco comes from "narcotics"—have been dated by Juan Ramírez-Pimienta to the 1930s. Early corridos (non-narco) go back as far to the Mexican Revolution of 1910, telling the stories of revolutionary fighters. Music critics have also compared narcocorrido music to gangster rap.[1][2]

Narcocorrido lyrics refer to particular events and include real dates and places.[3] The lyrics tend to speak approvingly of illegal activities such as murder, torture, racketeering, extortion, drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and sometimes political protest due to government corruption.[citation needed]

History[edit]

This genre of music is the evolution of traditional corrido ballads of the Mexican-US border region, which stemmed from the 16th-century Spanish genre of romance. Among the earliest exponents of narcocorrido music were Los Alegres de Teran, who recorded many. In the 1980s, Rosalino "Chalino" Sánchez contributed to narcocorridos. Known throughout Mexico as "El Pelavacas" (Cow Skin Peeler), El Indio (The Indian, from his corrido "El Indio Sánchez"), and "Mi Compa" (My Friend), Chalino was a Mexican immigrant living in Los Angeles. He then began distributing his music for a sale price. His lyrics composed of heartbreak, revolution, and socioeconomic issues. Soon he was selling mass copies. Chalino Sánchez was murdered in 1992 after a concert in Culiacán. In death, he became a legend and one of the most influential Mexican musicians to emerge from California, he was known throughout Mexico and United States as El Rey del Corrido (The King of the Corrido).[4]

Various companies, governmental agencies, and individuals have sought to ban narcocorridos. These attempts include a voluntary radio station black-out in Baja California. Representative Casio Carlos Narváez explained that radio executives did not want to make "people who break the laws of our country into heroes and examples". Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox also proposed banning narcocorridos.[5]

Violence in narcocorrido industry[edit]

Between 2006 and 2008, over a dozen prominent Mexican musicians, many of them connected to the narcocorrido genre, were murdered. The violence came in the midst of the Mexican drug war. The most popular musicians killed were Valentín Elizalde, and Sergio Gómez, the lead singer of Chicago-based Duranguense band K-Paz de la Sierra. In December 2007, both men were nominated posthumously for Grammy Awards in the banda category.[6] On June 26, 2010, Sergio Vega, known as El Shaka, was gunned down in Sinaloa state. He was shot dead only hours after he had denied reports of his own murder.[7] Ramiro Caro, Gerardo Ortiz's Manager and cousin was also killed when Gerardo Ortiz's Chevy Suburban was attacked by men with AK-47's at an attempt to kill Gerardo Ortiz. Gerardo Ortiz escaped unhurt but Ramiro Caro was killed.[8]

Other murdered music industry figures include Javier Morales Gómez a singer for Los Implacables del Norte, four members of Tecno Banda Fugaz, four members of Los Padrinos de la Sierra, Zayda Peña, singer for Zayda Y Los Culpables, trumpeter José Luis Aquino of Los Conde, record producer Marco Abdalá, manager Roberto del Fierro Lugo, Jorge Antonio Sepúlveda, Jesús Rey David Alfaro Pulido, Nicolás Villanueva of tropical group Brisas del Mar, and four members of Los Herederos de Sinaloa. Three members of Explosión Norteña were shot and wounded in Tijuana in August 2006. In October 2010 the singer Fabian Ortega Pinon (El Halcon de la Sierra) was executed along with two other victims in Guerrero, Chihuahua.[citation needed]

While few if any arrests have been made in these cases, experts and musicians themselves say that the murders can be explained by many Mexican musicians’ proximity to drug traffickers.[9] Some speculate the killings could be related to romantic disputes and jealousy.[10] Others cite cases in which a musician writes a song praising or criticizing a drug trafficker. Many assert that Valentín Elizalde's murder, for example, was related to a song of his, "A Mis Enemigos," which some interpreted as an attack on the Gulf Cartel following its appearance in a widespread YouTube video.[11]

There has been debate over the motives behind the killings and over to whether the media has exaggerated the trend. Narcocorrido expert Elijah Wald has disputed the assumption that any of the murders were related or that musicians on the whole are targets for drug traffickers.[12] But given the grisly nature of the murders, some of which were accompanied by torture and disfigurement, few doubt that drug cartel hitmen are to blame.

In the wake of the high-profile murders of Elizalde and Gómez, among others, some prominent corrido musicians postponed concert dates in certain parts of Mexico.[13] Others have said they are afraid to sing narcocorridos in public for fear of offending the wrong person.[9] Likewise, some vendors of narcocorrido CDs have reported low sales, citing fear among listeners of buying a CD featuring songs favoring one group of traffickers over another.[9]

Narco anthems and their lyrical contents[edit]

Since music plays an important role and major influence in the narco culture, the following "rolas" (songs) have been tagged as "anthems" for such nature and have been banned from airplay in Mexico and parts of the United States. However, the banning has failed in Mexico because the music is somewhat still displayed and available on the web for listening and downloading. Pirated (Bootleg) copies of this music are sold in the "tianguis" (outdoor markets) at affordable prices.

Song listing of "narco anthems"

Like rap/hip hop and other genres, narcocorridos describe the lives of the poor, destitute and of those who seek power in a violent manner. Also like Hip-Hop and Rap music, narcocorridos are listened to by a large portion of Spanish speakers who greatly vary in age and is widely popular among people who are non-cartel or gang related. This is a genre that is becoming mainstream in many Spanish speaking countries in recent years, it is now entering countries like Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, countries of which at first had never heard of the genre in the past but are now playing the music on an everyday basis. Also, some performers have composed songs either dedicated to or tributing some of the world's most controversial characters (besides drug cartel leaders) from Pancho Villa to communist revolutionary Che Guevara and even terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

These are

The Following lyrical content was taken from a narcocorrido anthem; Here is a verse of the song "El Cabron" (2005) by Los Capos.

Original Spanish verse:

Desde que yo era chiquillo tenia fintas de cabron; ya le pegaba al perico, y a la mota con más razón
Es que en mi México lindo Ahí cualquiera es cabron

Exact English translation:

Ever since I was a lad [child] I had the fame of a badass, already hittin the parrot [cocaine] and blowing dope [cannabis] with more reason
It's because in my beloved Mexico anyone there is a badass

On TV and in other media[edit]

In the third season of The Shield, the episode entitled "Safe", a narcocorrido is found. It was a song about an unrequited love, and the man killed her. However, several bodies are found, from meth lab exposure. Later evidence proves that she is alive and living with the boyfriend, so the narcocorrido turned out to be fake. The detectives use the corridos albums to close cases from stories that are true.

In the 2005 episode "Snakes", CSI: Crime Scene Investigation took on the subject of narcocorridos. In it, a freelance reporter who has gone undercover in the narcocorrido-producing subculture is killed over an article critical of the genre.

In the 7th episode of the 20th season of Law & Order, a narcocorrido is used as evidence in a murder.

In 2008, the Fox TV show America's Most Wanted had also mentioned the genre while depicting the case of a wanted criminal that is wanted for murder and trafficking. This wanted individual may be traveling back and forth between Mexico and the United States.

The 7th episode of the 2nd season of Breaking Bad opens by sampling Negro Y Azul, a narcocorrido by Los Cuates de Sinaloa, cowritten by Vince Gilligan, inspired by the events depicted in the series.[14][15]

On the radio, airplay of narcocorridos has increased in recent years. Artists such as Larry Hernandez, El Compa Chuy, and El Potro de Sinaloa, and songs such as "El Katch", "El Piloto Canavis (The Cannabis Pilot)", and "El Señor de la Hummer (The Man with the Hummer)" have increased the genre's popularity. Listener requests have helped to overcome radio stations' reluctance.[16]

Films[edit]

Academic articles and books[edit]

“De torturaciones, balas y explosiones: Narcocultura, Movimiento Alterado e hiperrealismo en el sexenio de Felipe Calderón." A Contracorriente: Journal of Social History and Literature in Latin America. (Refereed scholarly e-journal). Vol. 10, No. 3 (Spring 2013): 302-334. http://acontracorriente.chass.ncsu.edu/index.php/acontracorriente/article/view/570/1192#.UmXjVflJOSo


References[edit]

  1. ^ Ramírez-Pimienta, Juan Carlos (2004). "Del corrido de narcotráfico al narcocorrido: Orígenes y desarrollo del canto a los traficantes". Studies in Latin American Popular Culture (in Spanish) 23: 21–41. 
  2. ^ Hodgson, Martin (19 September 2004). "Death in the midday sun". Observer Music Monthly. Manchester Guardian. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Musica Regional Mexicana para toda la Plebada! | Corridos | Musica Nortena | Musica de Banda | Musica Duranguense | Mexican Music[not in citation given]
  4. ^ Quinones, Sam (2001). True Tales from Another Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 978-0-8263-2296-8. [page needed]
  5. ^ Wald, Elijah. "Corrido Censorship: A Brief History". [self-published source?]
  6. ^ "Murdered Mexican trumpeter 3rd musician killed in a week". CBC News. 7 December 2007. 
  7. ^ Johnston, Lauren (June 28, 2010). "Famed Mexican singer Sergio Vega shot dead hours after denying reports he'd been murdered". Daily News. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  8. ^ "Intentan ejecutar a cantante; mueren su representante y chofer | Noticias De Colima | La Policiaca - La Nota Roja De Mexico". La Policiaca. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  9. ^ a b c [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (26 December 2007). "The Savage Silencing of Mexico's Musicians". The Washington Post. 
  11. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (9 April 2007). "Mexican Drug Cartels Leave a Bloody Trail on YouTube". The Washington Post. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (2008-04-13). "Shock! Horror! Narcocorrido! - ARTicles". Najp.org. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  13. ^ Sara Miller Llana (2008-04-07). "Odes to Mexican drug gangs lose their appeal". CSMonitor.com. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  14. ^ Gajewski, Josh (26 April 2009). "'Breaking Bad' crosses over into narcocorrido territory". Chicago Tribune. 
  15. ^ "Q&A - Los Cuates de Sinaloa (Narcocorrido Band)". AMCTV Breaking Bad blog. 
  16. ^ Leila Cobo, "Beyond Borders", Billboard, 10 October 2009, Vol. 121 Issue 40, p52.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]