Corridos have been popular in Mexico for decades, but the sub-genre of narcocorridos has blown up over the last few years. Old folk stories have been overtaken by tales of drugs, death and vicious kingpins. And lots of those songs are graphic enough to make you go WTF!?
“El Primer Ministro” by Gerardo Ortiz
Credit: DEL Records/YouTube
Lyrics: “Me mantienen señalado pero no se han preguntado quien ayudara este pueblo como yo lo he ayudado. Lo recalco y lo repito y bien queda confirmado que seguire trabajando contra el poder del estado, esta no es una amenaza es un echo y lo he logrado.”
Translation: “I’m a marked man but they don’t ask themselves who will help this town the way I’ve helped it. I’ll reiterate it and repeat it – I’ll keep working against the power of the state. This isn’t a threat, it’s a fact and I’ve already done it.”
Ortiz pens an ode to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán as if he is truly the Robin Hood of Sinaloa, Mexico.
“La Gallina de los Huevos” by Gonzalo Peña
Lyrics: “Los errores de los grandes siempre ha sido una mujer.”
Translation: “The mistakes made by the greats always involve a woman.”
Once the news broke that actress Kate del Castillo was in contact with El Chapo, you knew a corrido was on its way. Gonzalo Peña’s corrido, “La Gallina de los Huevos,” says women are usually the downfall of great men. Excuse me? Women and del Castillo shouldn’t be blamed for every big mistake men make! Smuggling drugs is a HUGE mistake. And, Mr. Peña, there are lots of people who would disagree with your assertion that El Chapo is a “great man.” In an interview with CNN, Peña says the song is a tribute to del Castillo for taking a big risk and meeting with El Chapo.
“Estrategias de Escape” by El Komander
Lyrics: “Si el Señor no escapa háganlos pedazos disparen con rabia no pueden fallar.”
Translation: “If el Señor doesn’t escape, turn them into pieces, fire with rage, because you can’t fail.”
El Komander might just be the king of narcocorridos. Several states in Mexico have banned him from performing which led him take a hiatus from music in 2014. In one of his biggest songs, El Komander tells a story about El Chapo escaping authorities.
“El Corrido de la Barbie” by Roberto Tapia
Lyrics: “Para la mafia valor, pal enemigo balazos, pa cerebro es el negocio, pa las mujeres mis brazos, el costal pa los billetes, Colombia pal polvo blanco.”
Translation: “For the mafia, bravery. For enemies, bullets. Business is for the brain. For women, my arms. A bag for money and Colombia for cocaine.”
Tapia just gets straight to the point in these lyrics – women in la Barbie’s arms, trips to Colombia for cocaine and bullets for his enemies. Cartel kingpin “La Barbie” also made headlines as one of the highest-ranking U.S. citizens in El Chapo’s cartel. After breaking away from El Chapo and becoming his nemesis, La Barbie was arrested and extradited to the U.S.
“El Toro Pesado” by Grupo Exterminador
Credit: Miguel Gutierrez / YouTube
Lyrics: “Quiero llegar al infierno en troca y bien armado, cuando me reciba el diablo que sepa quien ha llegado, y le diga a sus colegas ahí viene un toro pesado.”
Translation: “I want to show up in hell well-armed in my truck, so when the devil greets me, he’ll know who’s arrived and he can tell his colleagues, ‘Here comes the big bull.'”
Grupo Exterminador tell the tale of a narco who knows exactly all the evil deeds he’s done – and proud of it.
“El Más Bravo de los Bravos” by Los Tucanes de Tijuana
Lyrics: “Un hombre muy peligroso, que no le teme ni al diablo, sonriendo jala el gatillo, disfruta de su trabajo, y siempre les dice a todos, yo soy hombre no payaso.”
Translation: “A very dangerous man, who has no fear of the devil, pulls the trigger with a smile, enjoys his work and always tells everyone, I’m a man, not a clown.”
The song literally sings the praises of Raydel Rosalio Lopez Uriarte, alias “Muletas,” a hit man from the Tijuana Cartel. GASP! Ay Dios Mio, it’s kind of sad the band that made of the best Mexican party dance songs is on this list. ? Not the same band who had us dancing la quebradita with “La Chona!” We guess all good things must come to an end.
“Los Sanguinarios del M1” by Movimiento Alterado
Credit: TwiinsCuliacanTV / YouTube
Lyrics: “Van y hacen pedazos, a gente a balazos, rafagas continuas, que no se terminan, cuchillo afilado, cuerno atravezado, para degollar.
Translation: “They turn people into pieces with bullets, continuous blasts of gunfire that never stop, a sharpened knife across an AK-47, ready to behead.”
The Movimiento Alterado crew had no reservations about using a song to describe graphic violence. After all, the song is about a group of “bloodthirsty” hitmen who worked for Manuel Torres Felix, aka El M1. Torture, beheadings – it’s all referenced with delight in “Los Sanguinarios del M1.”