Chalino Sanchez and the Narcocorridos (2022)

One of the best sources for current information on the culture, lifestyle, and fads of criminal street gangs is gang music.

And if you want to know about gang music, you can contact my good friends Ron Stallworth (“Hip Hop Cop”) from Utah ([emailprotected]) and Ernest Cuthbertson of the Greensboro (N.C.) Police Department ([emailprotected]) who specialize in African-American gangs and gangsta rap or Gabe Morales from Washington DOC and the Gang Prevention Services organization, who is the most knowledgeable cop I know on the subject of Hispanic gang music. Asian Gangs also have their own style of rappers, and Skinheads have Oi!.

Anyone interested in the Hispanic migration from south of our border and the violence of drug and human trafficking organizations (gangs) should be familiar with the music of Chalino Sanchez and the Narcocorridos.

Marijuana has always flourished in the hills of Sinaloa, Mexico. In the late 1800s Chinese immigrants brought the opium poppy to the area. As Mexico’s Medellin, Sinoloa is synonymous with narcotics trafficking. One young Sinaloan once explained it to me this way: “We are poor farmers living in harsh conditions in tiny ranchos raising corn. The government buyers pay us nothing for our crops, expecting us to eat dirt or starve. I don’t want to be a 'contrabandista,' but I won’t see my children starve either.”

Rosalino Sanchez was born in 1962 in the little ranchito of Las Flechas (the Arrows) in Sinaloa. There, about 20 miles from the city of Culiacan, he grew up, the youngest of seven brothers and one sister. While Rosalino preferred the name Chalino, he was also known as Marcelino, El Pelavacas (cow skinner), El Indio (the Indian), and Compa Chalino (Buddy Chalino) to his friends. Having the benefit of only three years of formal schooling, he was quiet and sometimes described as shy. He also had the reputation of being a young valiente (valiant tough guy).

(Video) Chalino Sánchez ft corridos pesados mix

When Chalino was only eleven, his sister Juana was raped by local bullies. One of them was “El Chapo” (Shorty) Perez. Four years later, Chalino shot and killed Chapo Perez at a party celebrating the Mexican Revolution. Perez’s two brothers, who also carried pistols, shot it out with Chalino. He was forced to flee Mexico. He crossed the border to become another “bracero” or “campesino” or undocumented migrant worker in the fields of California and Oregon.

He eventually left the fields and settled in the city of Inglewood, near the Los Angeles International Airport. Over the years he struggled to earn a living in any way he could: He washed cars, dabbled in small time drug dealing, worked as a driver for a restaurant owner in Bell Gardens, and joined his brother Armando as a “coyote” (illegal alien smuggler). In 1984, his brother was found shot to death in a Tijuana hotel. Later, his boss in Bell Gardens, Rigo Campos, was murdered by drug dealing rivals of the restaurant owner.

After his brother’s murder, Chalino found himself in “La Mesa” prison in Tijuana charged with several small crimes. The short eight-month sentence became Chalino’s crossroads. Imprisoned with his cousin Ismael, he began putting down corridos, the stories of valientes the prisoners told, which he sung accompanied by his cousin on the guitar.

A corrido is a ballad in which someone’s life story is sung. Dating back to the mid-1800s, the songs were the common people’s way to learn of the exploits of good and bad men without the ability to read newspapers, listen to radio, or watch television. These corridos often told the story of Mexican Revolutionary heroes and infamous bandits and corrupt policemen. They were sung to the music of polkas and waltzes by mariachis. My parents and grandparents knew these songs by heart and played them often when I was a kid.

But after Chalino Sanchez, corridos became Mexico’s and the American Latino’s equivalent to gangsta rap and they became super popular. Chalino wrote about his brother, Armando, and his boss, Rigo Campos. He wrote about the good, the bad, and the ugly. He sang about men who overcame impossible poverty to survive and prosper (for a while) as men of means and power, as valientes. They lived and died by violence in a corrupt system standing up for their own dignity.

(Video) Chalino Sanchez- El crimen de culiacan English subtitles

Upon his release from prison, Chalino returned to Los Angeles. The word spread around LA’s Hispanic communities that Chalino would write corridos on commission. In keeping with the underground economy, he would be paid in barter. In exchange for gold chains and watches and fancy pistols with ornate grips, he wrote ballads to make these men immortal. It was not his singing voice (critics humiliated him), it was the subjects and pathos of the lives he wrote about that made his songs popular with the common folk.

Recording in 1987 with the “norteno” band (referring to a Northern Mexican music style, not Northern California street gangs) “Los 4 de la Frontera” (The Four from the Border), he produced 15 tapes with 15 songs on unmarked cassette tapes. Too crude and primitive for radio or the big labels that controlled the Hispanic music industry, the tapes were sold from racks at car washes, on street corners, from trunks of cars, and at swap meets. They were called corridos prohibidos (prohibited ballads) and narcocorridos because the heroes were often drug traffickers.

This music began to appeal to even Americanized Hispanics. Latino kids who listened to rock, hip-hop, or gangsta rap and rarely thought about where their grandparents came from began buying Chalino’s tapes and listening to his paisa (countrymen) corridos. Even cholos (Hispanic gang members) began trying to speak more Spanish and get in touch with their Mexican ancestry.

In 1991, Chalino performed his first legitimate concert at Abel Orozco’s El Parral night club in South Gate, Calif. Unlike the traditional mariachis, Chalino wore the dress of a valiente from a Mexican rancho: A white cowboy hat cocked to one side, fancy stitched belt with a large cowboy buckle, exotic cowboy boots, gold chains and watches, and a loaded pistol tucked in the waistband of his black jeans.

He was a smash, and “El Parral’s” doors had to be shut because of the overflow crowds trying to get in to see Chalino. He also sang at Emilio Franco’s “El Farallon” night club in Lynwood. Like American hip-hop performers, Chalino enjoyed giving “shout outs” in recognition to friends in the audience. His nightclub appearances drew huge crowds, and he was paid $10,000 to $15,000 a weekend. Soon Hispanic kids from cities like Bell, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, South Gate, Cudahy, Compton, Long Beach, and Paramount were playing Chalino tapes and dressing like Sinaloan cowboys.

(Video) Chalino Sánchez mix los mas escuchados

In January 1992, Chalino Sanchez was hired to sing at Los Arcos night club in the desert city of Coachella about 20 miles from Palm Springs. During his performance to the packed crowd, Eduardo Gallegos, high on heroin and booze, jumped up on stage and began firing a small .25 caliber pistol into Chalino. Chalino pulled a 10mm pistol from his waistband and began a running gun battle chasing Gallegos. Seven people were hit in the exchange, including Chalino. A local man was killed, and Gallegos was wrestled to the ground by a bystander and shot in the mouth with his own pistol. He was later convicted and sentenced to prison and is serving 15 years to life.

The final verse in Chalino’s corridor was sung on May 16, 1992, only four short years after his career began. He had accepted an engagement to return to Mexico and the Sinaloan capital Culiacan. The people of Sinaloa wanted their beloved folk hero to return home and they were willing to pay $20,000 to hear him perform. But Culiacan can be a dangerous place, especially for a valiente like Chalino. In the city of La Presita near Culiacan at the “Salon Buganvilias” Chalino made his appearance. It was filled to capacity with over 2,000 people. His performance was cheered by the adoring crowd, and things appeared to have gone well.

After the concert near midnight, Chalino left the Salon with his brothers Espiridion and Francisco, his cousin Carmelo Felix, and several young women. A few blocks away at the city’s traffic circle, two Chevrolet Suburban police vehicles pulled Chalino’s vehicle over. Several armed men surrounded the vehicle and one man showed state police identification. Camelo Felix said, “Maybe one or two were policemen. The others might have been madrinas.” (Literally meaning “godmothers” or “bridesmaids,” but referring to the corrupt system where thugs are employed as policemen to do dirty work for the authorities or their drug cartel bosses.)

“My commandate needs you,” the state policeman told Chalino. He pled with the madrina gunmen not to take any of the others, and Chalino was driven away in one of the Suburbans. A few hours later, Chalino Sanchez’s body was found dumped in an irrigation ditch north of town. His hands and wrists had rope marks and his eyes were blindfolded. Two bullets had been fired into his head. No motive was found and no suspects were arrested, a very common ending within the Mexican justice system.

In Mexico and in the U.S. the reaction was immediate. People mourned and wept in the streets. His informal cassette tape network spread the word of Chalino’s death; it was announced internationally on Spanish language radio. Everyone played Chalino’s corridos. His murder did not silence Chalino; it turned him into a folk hero. Since his death more than 150 corridos have been written and sung about Chalino. This is more than those written for the Mexican revolutionary hero Pancho Villa.

(Video) El crimen de culiacan - chalino sanches

Coyotes, drug cartel members, Hispanic street gang members, dope dealers, Mexican criminals of every type, and even common paisa campesinos all listen to narcocorridos. Take some time and learn about Chalino Sanchez and the stories the corridos tell; it could be well worth it.

Much of the information I used in this article is from the book, “True Tales from Another Mexico,” by Sam Quinones, a Los Angeles Times staff writer. One of the chapters of this book is titled “The Ballad of Chalino Sanchez.”

See Also:

Street Gangs Have Their Own Criminal Culture

Mexican Drug Cartel Cowboys and DTOs

(Video) 1 HORA de PUROS CORRIDOS de CHALINO SANCHEZ

BeBop, Doo Wop, and Hip-Hop—Music and the Madness

FAQs

Did Chalino Sánchez sing narco corridos? ›

Chalino Sánchez: The Chilling Murder Mystery Tale of a Narcocorrido Singer. If you search for the best corrido singers, Chalino Sánchez tops the list. The regional Mexican singer left a legacy of music behind. The man sold his self-recorded cassettes from his truck.

What does Chalino Sánchez song about? ›

Chalino told the stories of men who overcame impossible poverty to survive and develop power, as valientes, and about the reality of dying from the violence in a corrupt system. Because of the content and the stories told in the music, this style of song became known as a narcocorrido.

Is Chalino Sánchez a narco? ›

He was the late narcocorrido singer Rosalino Sánchez Félix, known professionally as Chalino Sánchez. You don't even need to say the last name. Chalino is on a one-name basis with the Mexican public like the recently departed Vicente Fernandez, also known as Vicente or even the more diminutive, 'Chente.

Did Chalino and Tupac meet? ›

Most people agree that it's not a real photo of Chalino and Tupac, but it's also not out of the realm of possibility the two actually met — there's just absolutely no evidence of that happening.

What is narco music? ›

A narcocorrido (Spanish pronunciation: [naɾkokoˈriðo], "narco-corrido" or drug ballad) is a subgenre of the Regional Mexican corrido (narrative ballad) genre, from which several other genres have evolved. This type of music is heard and produced on both sides of the Mexico–US border.

What song was Chalino Sánchez singing when he got the Death Note? ›

Before Chalino was ready to sing "Alma Enamorada", he was handed a note from someone in the crowd. After reading it, Chalino crumbled the note up and began to sing the song. It is believed the note was a death threat.

What kind of gun did Chalino Sánchez have? ›

During his performance to the packed crowd, Eduardo Gallegos, high on heroin and booze, jumped up on stage and began firing a small . 25 caliber pistol into Chalino. Chalino pulled a 10mm pistol from his waistband and began a running gun battle chasing Gallegos. Seven people were hit in the exchange, including Chalino.

How old was Chalino Sánchez when he was killed? ›

Why Chalino Sánchez died? ›

Sánchez was shot and killed after a concert in Culiacán, Sinaloa in 1992 where he was handed a note from the crowd believed to be a death threat. In the morning, he was found dead. He is survived by his daughter.

Who is the greatest Mexican singer? ›

1. Vicente Fernández (1940 - 2021) With an HPI of 63.25, Vicente Fernández is the most famous Singer. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages on wikipedia.

What is considered a corrido? ›

The corrido (Spanish pronunciation: [koˈrið̞o]) is a popular narrative metrical tale and poetry that forms a ballad. The songs are often about oppression, history, daily life for criminals, the vaquero lifestyle, and other socially relevant topics.

What is a corrido song? ›

Related to the Spanish epic ballads known as romances, corridos have been variously defined. The classic corrido is a narrative ballad, generally consisting of regular verses of four octosyllabic lines, beginning with a verse setting the theme, then telling a story, and ending with a despedida (farewell).

Did Chalino Sánchez wife get married again? ›

Is Chalino Sanchez still alive? ›

What kind of music did Chalino Sánchez make? ›

Chalino Sanchez

He sang narcocorridos — a musical genre that some argue glamorizes drug crime — which narrated a lifestyle that seemed relatable at the time for many on both sides of the border.

How old was Chalino Sánchez when he died? ›

What is the most played Mexican song? ›

  • “La Bamba”. Ritchie Valens.
  • “Querida”. Juan Gabriel.
  • “La Jaula de Oro”. Los Tigres del Norte.
  • “Dr. Psiquiatra”. Gloria Trevi.
  • “Como la Flor”. Selena.
  • “Oye Mi Amor”. Mana.

Who is the most famous Mexican singer ever? ›

1. Vicente Fernández (1940 - 2021) With an HPI of 63.25, Vicente Fernández is the most famous Singer. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages on wikipedia.

Who is the best selling Mexican singer of all time? ›

LUIS MIGUEL Of the newbies, Luis Miguel stands above the rest of his generation. The 'Sun' of Mexico, is the ultimate heart throb who has sold over 100 million records to date and one of his tours holds the record as the highest grossing ever by a Latino artist.

“He was this person who didn’t fit in and somehow managed to make his own road.”

The “Nieves de Enero” singer from Sinaloa, Mexico was coming of age at the same time that drug trade was also growing in the 1980s.. “Both Mexico and the U.S. were seeing the impact of the things he was singing about.. That’s why his music connected on both sides of the border.”. Earlier this year marked 30 years since Chalino Sánchez was murdered in Mexico.. His influence on popular culture is as strong as ever, with Snoop Dogg referencing his music, podcasts being produced that honor his legacy, and tribute concerts that pay homage to his corridos and ballads like “Alma Enamorada,” “Prenda del Alma” and “Los Chismes,” which became anthems to multigenerational Latino homes.. “Chalino had success in the U.S. and Mexico because our culture is tied to music.. “Throughout the years, Chalino has [crossed] borders, genres and generations thanks to his music, and his sincere and special way of interpreting all of his corridos.”. And, he was doing it in their language, adds Galindo: “He seemed very real, as opposed to a lot of the other people like Cantinflas, Don Francisco or Gloria Estefan.. He also wasn’t the best of singers — but the sincerity in his vocals in lyrics is what made him even more real to his fans.. His unique voice will also be part of his legacy.. “A lot of the newer generation sings like that,” says Galindo.. He created a genre that anyone could sing in and not have that beautiful voice.”. “I was like eight years old and my neighbor was listening to a song by Chalino, and at the same time he was crying,” she shares.. His son Adán Chalino Sánchez , also a recording artist, died in 2004 in a car crash.. Chalino did great things and I’m happy he still connects with people.”

“He was this person who didn’t fit in and somehow managed to make his own road.”

He sang narcocorridos — a musical genre that some argue glamorizes drug crime — which narrated a lifestyle that seemed relatable at the time for many on both sides of the border.. Earlier this year marked 30 years since Chalino Sánchez was murdered in Mexico.. When he was shot and killed at 31 years old, he was starting to tour in Southwest U.S. states and in Mexico, and he had just signed a deal with regional Mexican indie label Cintas Acuario, which was founded by Pedro Rivera and was the label home to his kids Lupillo and Jenni Rivera .. His influence on popular culture is as strong as ever, with Snoop Dogg referencing his music, podcasts being produced that honor his legacy, and tribute concerts that pay homage to his corridos and ballads like “Alma Enamorada,” “Prenda del Alma” and “Los Chismes,” which became anthems to multigenerational Latino homes.. “Chalino had success in the U.S. and Mexico because our culture is tied to music.. “Throughout the years, Chalino has [crossed] borders, genres and generations thanks to his music, and his sincere and special way of interpreting all of his corridos.”. Corridos singer Lili Zetina remembers clearly the first time she heard Sánchez’s distinctive voice.. “I was like eight years old and my neighbor was listening to a song by Chalino, and at the same time he was crying,” she shares.. “Chalino’s legacy is almost inexplicable because his legacy can be traced beyond corridos.. Pepe Garza , Estrella Media’s head of content development and A&R for Estrella Media Music Entertainment, said he became a fan after hearing Sánchez’s version of “Nieves de Enero,” months after he was killed.. He adds, “Chalino didn’t name himself the ‘King of Corridos’ — that’s a name his fans gave him because his life story lets us know that he was REAL.”. His son Adán Chalino Sánchez , also a recording artist, died in 2004 in a car crash.. “I want to make sure that people understand that Chalino was not perfect but that doesn’t mean that his story doesn’t deserve to be told or he doesn’t deserve these 30 years of fandom,” offers Galindo.. Chalino Sánchez, "Alma Enamorada" Courtesy Photo

Un conjunto de canciones de finales del siglo XIX conocidas como ‘corridos tequileros’ explicarían el origen de este subgénero, puesto que abordarían el contrabando de dicha bebida embriagante desde México a EE.UU. durante la Ley Seca; aunque algunos estudiosos creen que nació durante la Revolución Mexicana

En años recientes, las ciudades mexicanas de Culiacán, en Sinaloa; Canelas, en Durango; Guadalajara, en Jalisco, entre otras, se han convertido en las urbes de inspiración para los cantantes de los denominados ‘narcocorridos’, un “subgénero musical” del corrido, que narra la historia verdadera o ficticia de un personaje o un pueblo.. Algunos estudiosos aseguran que el origen del ‘narcocorrido’ tiene sus antecedentes en la Revolución Mexicana (1910-1920), cuando los cantantes y compositores comenzaron a escribir historias acerca de pistoleros, prófugos de la justicia, de caballos y, en aquellos años, quizás una década más tarde, en 1930, se escuchaban melodías explícitas que hablaban del contrabando de drogas y de enfrentamientos entre narcotraficantes.. El ‘narcocorrido’ más viejo del que se tiene registro es el que habla de Pablo González, alias “El Pablote” o “El Rey de la Morfina”, un barón de la droga del estado de Chihuahua que alcanzó gran notoriedad a principios del siglo XX; el corrido habría sido grabado en 1931 y mencionaba a Ignacia Jasso, “La Nacha”, la primera mujer narcotraficante que tomó control del trasiego de estupefacientes de México a EE.UU.. “El Pablote”, según expertos, habría sido uno de los primeros líderes del mundo del hampa, mucho antes de la fundación del Cártel de Juárez, una de las organizaciones criminales más pujantes durante la década de 1970, que tuvo entre sus filas a Amado Carrillo Fuentes, mejor conocido como “El Señor de los Cielos”.. Sánchez vivió en ‘carne propia’ la pobreza, pues trabajó de lavaplatos y lavacoches durante su infancia; con el paso de los años, se dedicó a la venta de drogas en pequeñas cantidades; laboró en el transporte ilegal de migrantes indocumentados en la frontera entre México y EE.UU.. En aquellos años, los mayores exponentes del género como Los Tigres del Norte, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Valentín Elizalde, Los Canelos de Durango , Los Amables del Norte, Jenni Rivera, Sergio Vega “El Shaka”, K-Paz de la Sierra, Grupo Exterminador, Alegres del Barranco, AK-47, José Manuel Zamacona, Cardenales de Nuevo León, Los Huracanes del Norte, entre otros, lograron consolidar su hegemonía.. Asimismo, el ‘narcocorrido’ se ha inscrito en distintos bloques que detallan las etapas de la vida criminal en México, entre estas se encuentran, “movimiento alterado”, “corridos bélicos”, “corridos placosos”, “corridos pesados”, “corridos de alto calibre” “corridos chacalosos”, “corridos de la muerte”, “corridos tumbados”.. A pesar de que todos abordan el tema del narco, cada bloque destaca un aspecto en específico, ya sea la forma cruel en que los capos mexicanos ultiman a sus víctimas o aquellos que destacan la labor de los eslabones más bajos de alguna organización criminal, entre ellos, pistoleros, mensajeros y hasta aprendices de mafiosos.. Cabe mencionar que, entre los años 2001 a 2010, cuando emergieron y se fortalecieron la mayoría de los cárteles de la droga en México, la Segob (Secretaría de Gobernación) a través de la Dirección de la RTC (Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía) impuso “76 acciones legales” contra los concesionarios por la transmisión de ‘narcocorridos’, argumentando que contribuían a la apología de la violencia y el crimen organizado.

Un conjunto de canciones de finales del siglo XIX conocidas como ‘corridos tequileros’ explicarían el origen de este subgénero, puesto que abordarían el contrabando de dicha bebida embriagante desde México a EE.UU. durante la Ley Seca; aunque algunos estudiosos creen que nació durante la Revolución Mexicana

En años recientes, las ciudades mexicanas de Culiacán, en Sinaloa; Canelas, en Durango; Guadalajara, en Jalisco, entre otras, se han convertido en las urbes de inspiración para los cantantes de los denominados ‘narcocorridos’, un “subgénero musical” del corrido, que narra la historia verdadera o ficticia de un personaje o un pueblo.. Algunos estudiosos aseguran que el origen del ‘narcocorrido’ tiene sus antecedentes en la Revolución Mexicana (1910-1920), cuando los cantantes y compositores comenzaron a escribir historias acerca de pistoleros, prófugos de la justicia, de caballos y, en aquellos años, quizás una década más tarde, en 1930, se escuchaban melodías explícitas que hablaban del contrabando de drogas y de enfrentamientos entre narcotraficantes.. Hay algunas versiones más enfáticas sobre el origen del ‘narcocorrido’ que contradicen su origen en la Revolución Mexicana.. durante la Ley Seca, un periodo donde se prohibió la venta de alcohol en territorio estadounidense entre 1920 y hasta 1933.. El ‘narcocorrido’ fue evolucionando con el paso de los años y, una de las agrupaciones que capitalizó ese subgénero del corrido, fue Los Tigres del Norte.

Videos

1. Rigo Campos
(Chalino Sanchez - Topic)
2. Chalino Sanchez Sus Mejores Corridos
(Diego Am)
3. Chalino Sánchez - 30 CORRID0S MÁS BUSCADOS MIX 2021
(Puros Corridos Viejitos)
4. Chalino Sanchez - 18 corridos famosos
(Amo La Música)
5. Chalino Sánchez - Alma Enamorada (En Vivo)
(Discos Musart)
6. Chalino Sánchez 30 Aniversario (Rey del Narco Corrido)#mix #chalinosanchez #narcocorridos #mexico
(Rafael Galaviz)

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