OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

La Loteria of Narcocorridos: The Thin Line Between Celebrity and Tragedy


Andreina Lopez


Many people share the typical, commonplace idea that narcocorridos derive from a tradition of revolutionary ballads that transformed into the story-telling of drug trafficking. Others share the idea that narcocorridos serve only to venerate big drug lords. However, using narcocorridos as a medium to analyze the behaviors and actions of the Mexican people during the years 2006-2012, helps to provide vital information about the culture of the time, which could easily be overlooked when using other traditional outlets like that of the newspaper or books. I study narcocorridos from multiple perspectives. Just as the differences you can trace between the original corrido and the new narcocorridos tell us about a change in musical culture, they also serve to reveal a change in drug violence between an earlier time in Mexico’s history and a more modern history. By carefully analyzing narcocorridos song lyrics, music videos, narcocorridistas’ violent incidents, and album covers, I work to express the gradual, changing style of narcocorridos becoming much more graphic, and evoking rebelling thoughts in the Mexican youth during a disruptive time in Mexico’s modern history. Ultimately, this essay argues that in Felipe Calderon’s approach taken to combat the war on drugs during his six year presidential term, Mexico’s drug violence dramatically escalated. The possible influence on this escalated violence was the changing style of the narcocorridos. Narcocorridos’ original entertainment purposes ultimately shifted which allowed for two things: narcocorridos becoming catalysts in the glorification of drug violence and becoming endorsers of narco-celebrities.

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