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The Truth about Narcocorridos and their Interpreters
When you turn on the radio, you listen to a song and you immediately have the choice on whether you like or dislike it. It may be because of the rhythm, artist/singer, lyrics or any other reason. In the Spanish-speaking community today, there is a controversy on a specific type of songs played on predominantly Mexican radio stations. Narcocorridos are becoming more and more popular every day (Narcocorridos are often referred to as Regional-Mexican). As the popularity of Narcocorridos increases, authors, interpreters, and fans are being labeled as traffickers of drugs, alcoholics and being corrupters.
The problem is that the lyrics of Narcocorridos are strong, dealing with drugs, alcohol, and guns. Interpreters and authors of this type of music find these songs to be normal, just as any other song, because they have to do with real life, day to day, issues, even though they may not relate to them personally. Just as any other genre of music, Narcocorridos have an audience that is for and an audience that is against. The audience that is for Narcocorridos says that they are culture driven songs of their native “pueblo”. But the audience that is against it, claim that these songs praise drugs, alcohol and weapons that they are degenerating and are a bad influence to anyone who listens to them.
A Narcocorrido is a type of song or music that often tells a story usually about drugs, alcohol and violence. . During the Mexican Revolution, the Narcocorrido served as a form of oral history for those campesinos that were illiterate and couldn’t attend school or read a book.
It all started more than a century ago when German immigrants invaded Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico to work in breweries. With them, came the polka-like music they were accustomed to in their own land.
Narcocorridos have their origin in the time of the Mexican Revolution. They tell the adventures and deeds of leaders back in the day. In the beginning of the decade of 1970, there was a new flowing current of music derived with the song Contrabando y Traiciуn. This song, with which Los Tigres Del Norte rose to the top, talks about a couple of smugglers that go on a long trip with the tires of their car full of marihuana.
The lyrics in a narcocorrido are strong. As mentioned before, they tell the story about someone whose voice is not heard or someone who can’t tell their story because they have no way, song writers tell it as it is. They have no limits or restrictions as to what they should and should not say. The language may be nice and sweet but it seems as if authors express themselves better when their language is vulgar and rude. The ingredients for a narcocorrido aren’t big catchy phrases, special song structure or a perfect scheme. As, El As de la Sierra, a well-known singer/songwriter in the Mexican-American community, explains, “all I need is when you were born, the names of your parents, what your work is… and the name of your town” (to write a narcocorrido).
Some of the most famous songwriters right now are El As De la Sierra, Jenni Rivera, Los Originales de San Juan and Adan Sanchez. But the brave one that started it all was Chalino Sanchez.
Chalino Sanchez-Chalino Sanchez’s story begins in Sinaloa, Mexico. One night, there was a party in his pueblo and there he found out there one of his sisters had been raped. He took out his gun shot him and killed him. After he had killed the rapper, he left Mexico, crossed the boundary and arrived in Los Angeles, California. He moved in with his aunt there. He began working, very hard to save money and stay safely hidden from the Mexican police there.
Chalino rapidly saved up enough money to record his first corrido. He dedicated it to his brother that had been killed in a hotel in Tijuana. After recording the corrido to his brother, Chalino began to compose corridos for various narcotraffickers; sometimes he charged them up to $2000 for each. Little by little, his albums began to sell and his popularity increased. He began singing “Las Nieves De Enero” which introduced him to a new audience.
Tragically Chalino died at the young age of 31, he was killed in Sinaloa after performing in the famous “Salon Buganvilias”, leaving behind, a wife and two kids.
Chalino will always be remembered as a humble immigrant that changed Mexican music forever and opened doors for new artists in the same genre.
Los Tigres Del Norte-The living legend of Los Tigres Del Norte began more than three decades ago in Rosa Morada, Sinaloa, Mexico. Jorge, the oldest brother of the Hernandez dynasty felt as if music was calling on him. His artistic vision on music was so great that was able to rapidly reach out to his brothers, Hernan Raul and Eduardo, and his cousins, Oscar and Lupe. Since the beginning of their origin, Regional Mexican music has experimented a revolution. People in pueblos say that they truthfully identify themselves with Los Tigres Del Norte, they express their feelings for anything, from a broken heart to unhappiness about the way the government treats their people.
Lupillo Rivera-Born as Guadalupe Rivera in La Barca Jalisco raised in Long Beach, California. He has become the number one selling artist of regional-Mexican music in the Unite States and Mexico.
At the age of 15, Lupillo, best known as “El Toro de El Corrido” wrote his first corrido. After graduating High School he began working with his father and also singer, Pedro Rivera, at his independent record label, “Cintas Acuario”, the same where Chalino Sanchez started.
Lupillo has revolutionized the genre of narcocorridos because he has made a combination of narcocorridos and norteсa music. He has been criticized for the lyrics, the language and the style in which he sings his songs. He sings his lyrics loudly, with vulgar words, but people seem to like it, if not he would sell out at concerts and be so high up in the music industry.
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