Help me find some good narcocorrido music!
March 31, 2006 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Do you have any recommendations for narcocorrido albums?

I want to buy a few narcocorrido CDs and I have no idea where to start. I'm not fluent in Spanish (in a pinch, I could *probably* communicate with someone if they were very patient and good at charades, but that's about it nowadays), so I'm mostly looking for stuff that simply sounds good -- clever lyrics will be pretty much lost on me.

I've listened to the music a little on the radio before, but I can't find a station where I live now. I'm hoping to find some records that I enjoy listening to and that I can throw on the stereo for Cinco de Mayo.
posted by clarahamster to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
I have to ask why you want music that is about drugs if you can't understand the lyrics. The sound of narcocorridos isn't really that different from the sound of other corridos.

I'd recommend the classic Los Tigres del Norte. Not all of their stuff is about drugs, but some is. And they are awesome. I also enjoy Los Tucanes de Tijuana.

You should also check out some banda, which is really big in Sinaloa and Baja. Banda El Recodo, Banda Machos, El Coyote y su Banda Tierra Santa, etc.

Have you read Elijah Wald's Narcocorrido and Helena Simonett's Banda?

I wish I knew of some particularly appropriate music for Cinco de Mayo. I say just put on some Manu Chao and have a good time trashing the Sensenbrenner Bill.
posted by billtron at 6:37 PM on March 31, 2006

We briefly covered narcocorridos in my Degenerate Music seminar last year. The proffessor is currently on sabbatical, but I'll drop him an email and see if he responds.

He did mention that few narcocorrido artists actually produce pressed, professional CDs, which limits what you might be able to find.
posted by SemiSophos at 7:26 PM on March 31, 2006

He did mention that few narcocorrido artists actually produce pressed, professional CDs, which limits what you might be able to find.

hmm, that sucks. i can see why that would be the case though. :)
posted by clarahamster at 8:15 PM on March 31, 2006

Not banda! That's not the same as corridos. Banda is dancing music, and it is popular because of TV. Corridos started at the end of the XIX century, and became very popular in the revolution (1910). They have narrative lyrics, most of them inspired in real persons and events. Corridos have a very defined metric structure, and common phrases to start and end a song, for example asking for permission from the audience.

Narcocorridos are banned in the mainstream media, but you can find pirate CD compilations in Mexico. Also, I'm pretty sure you can find them in your favorite p2p network. I've found some corridos there, even some with very rude lyrics that I doubt you'd find in a record store.

Look for "Contrabando y Traición". It is one of the most popular corridos, and it talks about marijuana smugglers.
Some other titles:
- Jefe de Jefes
- El agricultor
- Clave privada (this one talks about a private pager cell phone number, I think).
- La banda del carro rojo
- Manos verdes

Also, I found on a website that Chalino Sánchez was a famous narcocorrido author.

My father is an expert in corridos, I'll ask him for more information.

I find weird that they celebrate 5 de Mayo in the US. It is a regular day in Mexico. But I guess any pretext to get stuffed with tacos, tamales and tequila is a good one :)
posted by clearlydemon at 10:55 PM on March 31, 2006

I found more titles and information here (in Spanish).

The group Los Tucanes de Tijuana has a CD called Tucanes de Plata: 14 tucanazos censurados, with songs that were censored because of their lyrics. 11 of those songs are narcocorridos.
Some of them are: Carrera prohibida, El ojo de agua, Operacion pesada, Cartel de a kilo, La piñata, Los compradres, Carrera prohibida, El puño de polvo, La mesa servida.

The CD Jefe de Jefes from Los Tigres del Norte has some narco songs: Las novias del traficante, El dolor de un padre, También las mujeres pueden.

From other groups:

- Los dos morros, La fiesta de los perrones, Entre perico y perico (Grupo Exterminador)
- Las divisas (Huracanes del Norte)
posted by clearlydemon at 11:20 PM on March 31, 2006

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