After first appearing at the 2014 EMP Pop Conference in Seattle, this article ran last spring at Maura Magazine; I reprint it here with their kind permission.
Here’s the story of a band from Modesto,
A small city east of San Francisco.
Led by the brothers Guajardo,
They’re known to the world as Los Amos.
They got started back in the mid-’90s
Playing los narcocorridos,
And over the course of a decade,
Los Amos altered their appearance
From flashy-shirted, big-hatted cowboys
To black-suited, no-hatted tough guys,
Los Amos’ transformation was dramatic,
And their music changed right along with them.
This transition was shaped by two forces:
The demands of their well-structured business,
But also their repeated incantations
Of one magic word from the Bay…
HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY HYPHY
But before we get hyphy, we need to answer this question: Why were some guys in Modesto, California, playing corridos—Mexican story songs about the drug trade—for a living in the first place? The answer lies with two names, corridistas you’ve probably heard of, immigrants to los Estados Unidos, legends in their field.
Continue reading “Pronounced “Jai-Fi”: The Rise and Fall of Hyphy Norteño”