In Murder City, my recent post about the eruption of violence on the US-Mexico border, I mentioned the band Los Tigres del Norte, the best known exponents of the narcocorrido sub-genre. I knew about corridos from prior experience in both Tucson and South Texas, but my introduction to narcocorridos was their song La Reina del Sur, about a trafficante's girlfriend who becomes a big-time dealer in her own right. I remember the day I purchased my CD of this transgressive music, in a Borders store on the border. The well-dressed lady next to me was not pleased to hear me ask for it.
The NPR story on narcocorridos explains how the old border radio phenomenon has been reversed, and how the art form can be just as dangerous as the trade itself. Although the phenomenon is found all along the border, the heart of this musical form is in the Rio Grande Valley, where a German influence in the music can still be heard, and where I lived for three years before coming to Bridgewater. Learn more from my Elijah Wald post.