To understand trap corridos one must first look at Mexican corridos. Some people will have discovered this musical style by watching the series Breaking Bad in which Los Cuates De Sinaloa sing “The Ballad of Heisenberg” in tribute to the main character. The Mexican corrido is a ballad sung to a rhythm usually picked out by a guitar. Its main purpose is to tell a story in the epic style using the vocabulary, metaphors and expressions that constitute the poetic language of corrido.
The genre emerged at the end of the 19th century and became an important part of national culture and identity. During the Mexican revolution, which raged between 1910 and 1920, corridos played an important role in narrating the exploits of each faction. This is the case with the famous “La Adelita”, masterfully performed by Jorge Negrete, which describes a valiant revolutionary with whom the narrator is madly in love. Nowadays, the corridos allude to various topics concerning modern life, especially those related to the news, corruption, political assassinations, and drug trafficking (narcocorrido).
In 2010, an estimated 32 million people in the United States were of Mexican origin. As the flow of migration has continued to increase, Mexicans represent more than 10% of the country’s population. These people are often referred to as Chicanos and have roots on both sides of the border. The Chicano audience listens to many different styles (reggaeton, trap, corridos, etc) and is often eager to reconnect with their Mexican roots in innovative ways. It from this that the corridos tumbados, also known as trap corridos, have emerged, being championed since 2011 by the landmark Rancho Humilde label in Los Angeles. Its founder Jimmy Humilde is Chicano – his parents emigrated to the United States where he was born and raised. He has musical connections with both cultures and wants to mix them, destroying geographical and linguistic barriers in the process, and bringing innovation to a music industry that sometimes struggles to surprise.
Initially aimed at children living in similar dual cultural situations, this music is characterised by its fusion of trap and corridos. Artists add hip-hop rhythms, modern production quality, rap, vocals and other attributes of urban music to the 150-year-old tradition of Mexican folk song. These corridos of the future have been very successful in Mexico and the United States, as wells as internationally with patrons such as Bad-Bunny and reggaeton and trap stars like Ñengo Flow and Snoop Dogg. The current frontrunner of the movement is Natanael Cano. Aged just 20, he is the only Mexican to make it into the prestigious Billboard Top 10 Latino Artists of 2020. Alongside him, Ovi and Junior H are developing a world of such festivity and emotion that it will make you want to get the tequila flowing!