By Elijah Wald

ISBN-10: 0066210240

ISBN-13: 9780066210247

Within the first full-length exploration of the modern Mexican corrido, award-winning writer Elijah Wald blends a go back and forth narrative along with his look for the roots of this strange and debatable style -- a contemporary outlaw track that blends the sensibilities of medieval ballads with the edgy grit of gangsta rap. whereas establishing up a wealthy musical international, this booklet paints an image of recent Mexican tradition because it is visible via the folk within the streets: uncooked and romantic, quaint and innovative, violent and poetic.

Wald traveled via a lot of Mexico and the southwestern usa (mostly hitchhiking, with a guitar on his again) which will locate infamous corridistas. From overseas superstars promote hundreds of thousands of albums to rural singers documenting present occasions for his or her acquaintances within the areas ruled by way of guerrilla warfare, Wald was once in a position to stopover at those songwriters of their houses, trek as much as mountain villages, discover the heartland of the Mexican drug site visitors, and try the scene in city facilities equivalent to l. a. and Mexico City.

The corrido style is legendary for its hard-bitten songs of drug traffickers and gunfights, and likewise features as a type of musical newspaper, making a song of presidency corruption, the lives of immigrants within the usa, and the battles of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. because the days of the Mexican Revolution, corridos were the musical voice of the negative and oppressed, but additionally a sensational actiongenre that has spawned dozens of his videos and has been attacked through conservative politiciana and anti-drug crusaders. via mostly unknown to English audio system, corridos best the Latin charts and dominate radio playlists either within the usa and issues south.

Wald illustrates the ability of this track and the way of life it has created. He presents in-depth appears to be like on the songwriters who've reworked teams just like the awesomely renowned Tigres del Norte into enduring superstars, in addition to the more youthful artists who're sporting the corrido into the twentyfirst century. In looking for the poetry and social protest at the back of the gaudy lyrics of robust drug lords, Wald exhibits how renowned song can stay the voice and "newspaper" of a humans, even in a contemporary global ripe with globalization, digital media, and gangsters who send cocaine in 747s.

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Additional resources for Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas

Sample text

That’s the cabrón who robbed me! ” In an instant, I was slammed face-forward against the first pickup, with hands all over me. ” I was trying to remain calm, repeating, “I can prove I just got to town. ” No one was listening to me, but the victim seemed to be having second thoughts. He pulled up my sleeves, looking for track marks, and when he could not find any he began yelling that no, I was not the guy. By now, though, the cops were having fun. They had opened my pack and were asking the victim if the cassettes I had were his.

Contrabando y Traición’ was the first song like that, and then, it was also the first song about the drug traffic. ” While there had in fact been earlier drug corridos, the freshness and excitement of Ángel’s song set it apart, and the success of Los Tigres’ recording not only breathed new life into the corrido style but took norteño music to new heights of popularity. “Contrabando y Traición” was adapted into a movie script, Camelia became a legend, and soon there were dozens, then hundreds of songwriters trying to replicate Ángel’s formula, each vying to be more colorful and violent than his predecessors.

It took over an hour to get out of town, as it was Sunday morning and there was very little traffic, but I was in no hurry. The air was fresh and clear after the previous day’s rain, and I walked along the broad, recently tarred highway, picking an old blues song on my guitar and enjoying the cool breeze off the mountains. On the edge of town, I stopped in the minimart attached to a filling station and bought a large bottle of grapefruit juice, and I had just finished drinking it when a pickup pulled over.

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Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas by Elijah Wald


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