Narcocorridos, or "drug ballads", are songs that soundtrack the world of narcoculutra. Since the Mexican drug war began in 2006, the genre has exploded in popularity and the lyrics have kept pace with the brutal violence unfolding in the streets. While the accordion and horn driven music may be inaccessible to many English listeners, the stories behind the music are shocking and incredible. The ten albums below are indispensable pieces of the genre's long and bloody history.
America's liberal class and MSMers are abuzz right now over Narco Cultura, a documentary about Mexico's horrific drug war and the musical movement that has risen around it. These libs (and more than a few conservatives) are telling each other and the two Mexicans they know about how Mexican music nowadays glorifies the drug trade, how artists will write songs for narcos on commission, how musicians go on stage with AK-47s, bulletproof vests, and bazookas, how those songs revel in being as gory as possible--and how terrible all of this is.
From Movimiento Alterado's "Sanguinarios del M1" BuKnas de Culiacán singer doing what he does best--vamping!
Never mind that the music groups highlighted really hit their height in Mexican culture in 2010. Never mind that almost no media outlet had reported on this new wave of narcocorridos--alternately called el movimento alterado ("the altered movement"--"altered" as in "high as shit") or corridos enfermos ("sick corridos") until now, and now everyone is tripping on themselves to report this "new" news. NPR and the New York Times did stories on Narco Cultura recently, so it's now news! And you know something is the liberal flavor of the month when they're going to Ry Cooder--the only person progressive gabachos trust for their ethnic music--so he can cluck about the sadness of it all.
SNORE. Yes, America: Mexican music is violent. Get over it.
The scrappy tomboy daughter of Mexican immigrants came from dirt poor Long Beach to sell out arenas in the motherland.
Yet she went largely unnoticed by non-Hispanics until the small Learjet she was riding after a concert crashed into a hillside in Nuevo León on December 9, 2012.
She was 43.
Though her explosive, uncensored personality and often-public feuds made her a polarizing figure for many Mexicans, she built an empire, with her own reality show, a cosmetics line, a denim line, and a real estate firm, among other ventures.
She was anticipating the announcement of her first crossover move -- an English-language sitcom for NBC -- which made her passing even more tragic.
But there are many ways to remember La Mariposa del Barrio, as she once called herself: Here are five places across Los Angeles County where you can still feel Jenni's presence.
Sick Jacken and Cynic are lauded Pico-Union rappers; the former is a member of underground hip-hop sensation Psycho Realm, while the latter is one half of Street Platoon and a frequent Realm collaborator.
Psycho Realm became a phenomenon in the '90s, but the group was put on hold in 1999 one month before the release of their second album after Jacken's brother Big Duke -- the other half of Realm -- was shot in the neck. The incident left him a paraplegic and Jacken left the music world for a few years. He returned to the stage with some help from Cynic and his partner Crow; Jacken and Cynic have a new record out today titled The Terror Tapes Vol. 2. We spoke with them recently at the Graff Lab in Pico-Union, near where they grew up.
"Does that include chi-chi milk?" he asks. The woman behind the counter laughs. The answer is no.
Tonight he's clad in face paint, a gray wig and a sombrero. This is pretty much par for the course for Metalachi, a Hollywood-based quintet that performs mariachi versions of popular heavy metal songs such as Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark," Europe's "The Final Countdown" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train."