November 15, 2002

Los Tigres del Norte: The Kings of Corridos sing La Reina del Sur

By Pablo De Sainz

In past decades, censorship from the Mexican government was present in every artistic or cultural act. Film directors suffered when their movies were mutilated, scenes deleted, and many times, never released.

Writers and novelists couldn’t write criticism against the government, either. And newspapers were always paid to not publish stories that put in danger the governments’ plans.

In this same way, narco-corridos, songs that talk about drugs and narco traffic, have been censored for many years in radio stations in Mexico. Los Tigres del Norte has been one of the groups that has faced censorship because of narco-corridos.

Los Tigres are considered the most important norteño band and are now releasing a new album called “La Reina del Sur,” which includes a narco-corrido by that title.

It is the story of Teresa Mendoza, the protagonist of Spanish writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel. She’s a young woman from Sinaloa who enters the world of narcotraffic and becomes one of Spain’s most wanted.

The corrido has nothing fancy about it. Los Tigres start it with “Voy a cantar un corrido, mis compas, para La Reina del Sur…”, a very common way to start a corrido.

But that was made on purpose, said Jorge Hernandez, Los Tigres’leader:

“Its lyrics are simple, fun and spontaneous. It wasn’t nothing complicated when we recorded it. “

The 14 tracks in “La Reina del Sur,” among them “Mi soledad,” Lo felicito amigo, and Gavilan perdido, have the solid sound that identifies Los Tigres: the accordeon played by Jorge; the four different vocalists; and the lyrics that are so much liked by Tigres’ fans.

“La Reina del Sur” is the most recent example by Los Tigres del Norte, considered the best norteño group, and with a 30 year history in music.

With this album, Los Tigres, the kings of narcocorridos, sing to “La Reina del Sur.”

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