music, charts, opinions


Explosion Norteña

Beto Cervantes D.E.P.

beto white hat

Multiple news outlets have reported that 42-year-old singer José Alberto Cervantes Nieto, aka Beto Cervantes of the band Explosión Norteña, has died. At around 11am Thursday morning, he was shot at the corner of calle Art. 27 and calle Michoacán in the Constitución colony of Rosarito, Baja California.

beto cervantesAs Manuel wrote almost a year ago, Cervantes has been attacked before, probably because he and his band have (allegedly) been cozy with a cartel and cartels (most definitely) shoot people. Indeed, Explosión’s latest album, De Regreso Y Con Bastante Decisión (ARS), has sparked several rounds of Hasty Cartel Googling as NorteñoBlog tries to figure out corrido protagonists like El Flakito and El XL. One rumor suggests Cervantes was killed by a rival cartel when he refused to write them a corrido — a courageous move, if it’s true, when your prospective employers brandish guns and offer you up to $50,000 for a day’s work. Continue reading “Beto Cervantes D.E.P.”

Julio Tiene Calor


Thanks to you, a loyal coalition of corrido heads and puro sax devotees, NorteñoBlog enjoyed its most-clicked month yet in julio. Here are the posts that got the most attention, both current articles and old ones:

Current Posts:
1. Trap is Hyphy and Hyphy is Trap (¡Nuevo!)
Hyphy Music Inc. is still going strong; Martin Patrón’s Trap Corridos is rad.

2. NorteñoBlog’s Top Singles of 2016: Abril – Junio
12 tunes worth hearing; NorteñoBlog will totally update the YouTube playlist sometime in the next decade.

3. Yo Quiero Tu Saxo (julio 2016)
Sax riffs and terrible puns comin’ at ya!

4. Desfile de Éxitos 7/9/16
Intocable sets a chart record; the blog continues to marvel at how much the kids love Los Plebes del Rancho.

5. Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 7/8/16
Songwriter’s Showcase underrates the new Recodo single.

Old Posts:
1. Explosion Norteña: Beto’s Revenge
Manuel celebrates the inimitable flow of Beto Cervantes, lead MC of Explosion Norteña.

2. Top 5 W.T.F. Corrido Moments!
More intersections of rap and corridos: Manuel counts ’em down.

3. Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 6/23/16
La Iniciativa and Banda Los Recoditos team up for a tongue-twisting tune about wingmen and the women they share at the club.

4. 100 Regional Mexican Compilations Released in 2015
Seriously, who buys these things?

5. Pronounced “Jai-Fi”: The Rise and Fall of Hyphy Norteño
Almost a decade ago, Los Amos and friends went hyphy; WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

¡Gracias por leer!

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”

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