Monday, March 4, 2019

The Narco Corrido Culture

Excerpts from Borderland Beat book - Chapter - The Narco Corrido Culture 

A Narcocorrido (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 to the 1930s. Other music critics have compared narcocorrido music to Gangster Rap. 

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. Experts and musicians themselves say that the murders can be explained by many Mexican musicians’ proximity to drug traffickers.

The most popular musicians killed were Valentín Elizalde and Sergio Gomez, the lead singer of Chicago based Duranguense band K-Paz de la Sierra. On December 2007, both men were nominated posthumously for Grammy Awards in the banda category.

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. In real life. Detectives have used corridors lyrics to close cases from stories that are found to be true.  But many times, it is hard to establish if a corrido is a fable or something related by a narco from true accounts.

The second season episode, Negro Y Azul of Breaking Bad opens with a narcocorrido about events within the show's story played by Los Cuates de Sinaloa.

“The cartel’s running hot
Because they weren't getting respect
They talk about some ‘Heisenberg’
Who controls the market now
No one knows anything about him
Because they've never seen him

The cartel’s about respect and they never forgive
But that guy’s dead already, he just doesn’t know it yet.”

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