I'm am American in South Texas. There is a popular dance club in my area, a very affluent side of town, which my wife and I still visit for the occasional birthday. Recently at midnight, they randomly switched the music to one of these "Corridos" and from a projector played the video on the wall. Everyone sang along and I was totally lost as to what was going on. My wife translated the lyrics and explained to me the origins of the song. Here, hundreds of American's were chanting to the glory of drug kings?
It reminded me of growing up in the early nighties when gangsta rap went mainstream. People were eating up the gangsta life and feeding off the passion behind the lyrics. An outlet to voice the emotions for the black youth in inner city neighborhoods was found. Many people nowhere near a ghetto were drawn by this culture and wanted to be apart of the lifestyle. Not realizing there was an actual world of violence and struggle attached to the music, they glorified the drug dealing lifestyle as in the movie "Scarface". Here we are a couple of decades later and we kinda grew up past that lifestyle. Rap music has become more about sustained wealth and mainstream rap (looking at you Jayz)has provided a higher level of status for American youth to bump their heads to. It's I rather be a CEO than push drugs on street corners now.
Mexicans and Mexican-American youths didn't have that voice. This documentary shows us the alternate sides of this new outlet. On one side you watch an American singer who is rising in popularity on the heels of drug dealers. On the other side you see a Mexican investigator trying to find meaning in his work..actually living the life. Mixed in you see actual cartel members living "the life" and the suffering of civilians looking for a way out.
I especially enjoyed the directors emphasis on the contrast between Mexico and the US. I was born here and my wife was born in Mexico. It truly is hard to grasp the way it must feel to live in absolute fear but yet be able to see with your own eyes "safety" just a few hundred yards away.
This was a moving, yet scary unmasking of a neighboring war. This is not only a problem for Mexico and this music isn't only popular with Mexicans. The drug cartels are on a whole other level right now. They are sick, violent people all trying to outdo each other with more and more violent killings. Civilians are being massacred and for the most part they are untouchable.
I wonder if the American who is exploiting this lifestyle in the documentary to make money from his songs realizes the repercussions? Or if he even cares...it is the American dream isn't it.