music, charts, opinions



Nice Going, 2016! (NorteñoBlog talks politics)


Trump Is President, the Cubs won the World Series, and Shia LaBeouf can freestyle… 2016 in a nutshell, I guess. I never thought in a million years this buffoon would get into the White House. I thought, “This country can’t be that stupid.” Boy, do I have pie on my face!

Every feeling has surfaced from the anti-Trump side, everything from anger to sadness to denial. There is apparently a petition to abolish the electoral college, but who knows if that is even possible to do.

One feeling is more common than others: Uncertainty. For millions of undocumented people and their families it means a very uncertain future. Will Trump keep his promise to deport all 12 million undocumented immigrants? Will he only go after habitual criminals? No one knows and that is what keeps people up at night.

I have family that is undocumented. I know undocumented people who have careers and stable jobs, planning their futures; that have been able to use their college education as a direct result of President Obama’s DACA executive action in 2012.

All of that can go flying out the window with the stroke of Trump’s gold plated pen. Muslim Americans are also feeling unsure of their future, along with African Americans. Will Stop and Frisk become a federal initiative with someone like Sheriff Clarke at the helm? Continue reading “Nice Going, 2016! (NorteñoBlog talks politics)”

Culiacán Characters


Gilberton, Chanito, El Pirata — they’ve all found a following on social media. Corrido artists frequently appear with them on video, and some have inspired songs and corridos. They aren’t narcos or even musicians, but they are characters.

In the infamous City of Culiacán, where narcos, musicians and beautiful women usually attract the most attention online, people like Gilberton, an elderly gay man known as a cranky foul-mouthed neighborhood fixture ready give his opinion on various subjects laced with a large amount of curse words, has even inspired a cumbia by Los Alegres del Barranco.

Two youngsters named Chanito and El Pirata have also found online fame. Continue reading “Culiacán Characters”

Explosion Norteña: Beto’s Revenge


One of my top five norteño acts, Explosion Norteña was an infamous band known for their brash, boastful, but most of all based-on-a-true-story corridos about the gritty, unforgivable world of the Tijuana Cartel. Since the band’s formation back in 1995, they have had one of the most entertaining musical careers since Chalino Sánchez.

Word on the street was that in the beginning, members of the Tijuana Cartel sponsored the band, allowing them to buy better equipment and purchase studio time to record their first album. I would argue that the current crop of brash and violent lyrics, so popular in today’s narcocorridos, was heavily influenced by Explosion Norteña’s style.

Their lyrics were combative and named specific individuals, and they made no secret of their allegiance to the Tijuana Cartel. The civil war between former cartel lieutenant El Teo and Luis Fernando Arellano, head of the cartel, erupted in 2008, during which the band stayed loyal to CAF (Cartel Arellano Felix) leadership. Eventually someone decided they didn’t care much for Explosion’s corridos, or possibly they had some personal issues, and as with a lot of things in Mexico, they decided the best way to handle it was to murder lead singer Beto Cervantes.
Continue reading “Explosion Norteña: Beto’s Revenge”

Top 5 W.T.F. Corrido Moments!

gucci el chapo

5) Omar Ruiz performs “El Americano” for George Jung

For an American to get his own narcocorrido is rare in itself. For George Jung, the infamous drug trafficker, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine him being worthy of one — after all, the man already had a movie made based on his life. He’s an individual that I’m sure has lived through some surreal moments. So I can only imagine what was going through his head when he ran into the young up-and-coming artist Omar Ruiz. (Although by the looks of it, it was most likely a planned meeting.)

The video shows an attentive if somewhat confused Jung trying to understand the corrido being sung to him about his own life… in Spanish, of course. At one point he lights a cigarette. Perhaps he was getting bored but I’d like to think he was just taking it all in. By the end of the song, it becomes apparent that Jung did indeed appreciate the song, describing it as beautiful.

Continue reading “Top 5 W.T.F. Corrido Moments!”

Get Off My Lawn With That Accordion!

los ramones

You know how it is — you feel like throwing on some real street, gritty corridos and you’re bobbing your head as the first couple accordion notes start to sound off. Then you hear what appears to be a 6-year-old kid singing about the hit squad he belongs to and how prepared he is to battle his enemies.

I like a great narcocorrido as much as the next guy, but whenever I hear a little kid crooning about bazookas and assault rifles, it rubs me the wrong way, I don’t respond to it with approval, instead all I can think of is “Where are your parents?!”

Well, it turns out, more than likely, his parents are right beside their little protégé belting out the latest corrido. Now . . I don’t want to sound like a hater, But! I just can’t vibe to the song if the singer sounds like El Chavo del Ocho.

Songs like “El Mal Ejemplo” by Calibre 50 only have the young kid singing for a couple seconds, but it just doesn’t sound right. To Calibre 50’s credit, the song is about a father realizing he is setting a bad example for his son and decides to teach him the right way in life. But still, I’ll pass.

Another example is “En Preparacion,” sung by Nachito Hernandez, the son of veteran corridista Nacho Hernandez. The thought of a kid singing about waging war against a rival cartel is too much to believe. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously but when you have a kid singing this type of song it feels like a gimmick and filler for the album.

It doesn’t mean Kid singers can’t do the job right. Take for example Los Ramones de Nuevo Leon, a four-piece band of young singers, who came out two years ago with a rendition of “Flor Hermosa,” one of the best versions I have heard in a while. Their singing style and use of instruments is superb and their voices just keep getting better and better each year. Basically, when you listen to them, you feel the same way after eating some of your mom’s lasagna on a bitterly cold night… satisfied!

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