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MEXICALIA

Mexican Narco Music Is the Soundtrack to the War on Drugs

Sing along to lyrics about beheadings, executions and coke binges.

af VICE Staff
18 juli 2014, 5:00am

Mexico's narcocorrido music genre and subculture openly celebrates the most extreme aspects of the country's drug war. The songs are filled with catchy, detailed narrations of beheadings, executions, coked-out nights and a strangely consistent obsession with Buchanan's whisky.

With lyrics like, "We're bloody and a little twisted / We love killing / Mass kidnappings are the way they should be done / All my crew with gold-plated AKs / Shooting up their bodies until they fall to pieces / A sharpened knife on hand for beheadings," the movimiento alterado – literally, the "altered movement" – is more of a "we're-fucking-crazy-and-we-will-cut-you-up" movement.

The music scene originated in the old cartel citadel of Mexico's western Sinaloa state, and it's an open secret that most of the artists identified with the genre are tied to the local cartel.

VICE went to Mexico to talk to some of the genre's major producers and see whether they're as hard as their songs suggest.