Since the Mexican Revolution, corridos in Mexico have been part of its musical history. The most important events of the time were reflected in the corridos, with special emphasis on the most representative figures of the Revolution such as Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Villa. However, over the years, this “musical genre” has evolved, and now instead of praising historical figures, they praise the most important drug trafficking leaders.
1. Los tigres del norte - La banda del carro rojo
I listened to this track as a child at family parties, these corridos were part of the entertainment from where I was born, in Sonora Mexico. It was like listening to a story from the Wild West (USA) but with real characters of the Mexican narco world.
2. Los Invasores De Nuevo Leon - Clave 7
This song was also very popular since the story talks about how organized crime leads you to have a luxurious and short life. Only a few people can get there.
3. Los Tucanes de Tijuana - El MZ
MZ is short for Mayo Zambada is said to be the supreme leader of the Sinaola Cartel, the “norteño band” of Tijuana (the Tucanes de Tijuana) said in their lyrics that “the party continues in a big way, which are luxuries of the MZ”. As the years go by and although the authorities and the people who live in the region know where he is, no one dares to touch him, denounce him, much less betray him, as it is known that this would amount to a death sentence.
4. Komander - Mafia Nueva
Komander’s repertoire is filled with “narcocorridos”, and is representative of the type of music gender called “Altered Movement”. In his concerts, he presents himself sometimes
showing grenade launchers, weapons, and a lot of alcohol, the same elements that he talks about in his songs. Once, during a Komander concert, the narco underworld left the body of a decapitated person.
5. Los Tucanes De Tijuana - El Regreso Del Chapo
El Chapo is internationally known and now extradited. The tale of his prison escape is internationally well-known. Los Tucanes de Tijuana, now more famous for their Norteño Dance Hit “La Chona” that became viral, have recently performed on a main stage at COACHELLA Festival. Before that, they were known to sing real stories about famous drug lords.
6. Valentín Elizalde - El corrido de Vicente Carrillo
Another famous singer who was assassinated and who marked the style with his out of tune voice. However, that tone made him fashionable for other singers who followed his style.
7. Los Tigres Del Norte - Jefe de Jefes
With this famous band which for us is like the Depeche Mode of norteño music, we became friends and played together in Washington in 2005 at the Smithsonian. Los Tigres Del Norte are great musicians and inspiration for NORTEC. Although this song is a narcocorrido, Los Tigres del Norte are today consecrated as The Chief of Chiefs (Jefe de Jefes) of norteño music.
8. Chalino Sánchez - Alma Enamorada
He is the King of the Corrido, that’s what they called him. This is a love song, however, when interpreting it live, narcos gave him a death threat note while he was singing this song. The next day they killed him and with this, the King dies.
9. Nortec Collective - Colorado
While Nortec is a deconstruction of northern music, this song might be
the only one to have phrases inspired by the Tigres del Norte. This unofficial video made by a fan with animations of one of the famous actors in narco stories and the most prolific low budget cinema producer of this genre: Mario Almada (Actor and film director).