Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sinaloa Cartel OK's Mexico's Newest Drug Ballads

Posted in Borderland Beat Forum by AztecWarrior13 
Trumpets and trombones blast across a rodeo ring where women in miniskirts dance with men in cowboy hats and gold chains. Some fans try to climb onto the stage while others whoop to the deafening music and sing along to an outlaw ballad about one of the most-wanted criminal suspects in North America, an alleged drug kingpin.

“We take care of El Mayo
“Here no one betrays him…
“We stay tough with AK-47s and bazookas at the neck
“Chopping heads off as they come
“We’re bloody-thirsty crazy men
“Who like to kill.”

At the microphone is Alfredo Rios, whose stage name is “The Komander.” He’s a singer of Movimiento Alterado — “Altered Movement” in English — a new commercial brand of “narcocorrido” ballads that bluntly describe drug violence to the oompah beat of Mexico’s norteno music.

The songs are filled with unusually explicit lyrics about decapitations and torture, and praise for one drug gang in particular: the Sinaloa cartel and its bosses, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The increasingly popular music is banned on radio stations in parts of Mexico but is heavily promoted over the Internet. It is the brainchild of twin brothers based in Burbank, California, who have long turned to the Sinaloa cartel for artistic inspiration. They won a Grammy award in 2008 for producing an artist who goes by the name of “El Chapo de Sinaloa.”

Omar Valenzuela says the music not only tells of the violent world of the Sinaloa cartel, but has received its blessing at least once, when the producers worried about the group’s reaction to a song about Manuel Torres, allegedly a top hit man for Zambada.

“We looked for them and asked for permission,” Valenzuela said. “We sent them the song and they told us it was OK to release the song. We were afraid. They told us through their people that we were authorized to release any song. Sometimes people can get offended. We didn’t want any problems.”

The song since then has been downloaded 5 million times from the company website, Valenzuela said, and the accompanying video, which tells of how much gunmen working for Torres enjoy killing, has been watched more than 13 million times on YouTube.

Rios and Valenzuela deny any direct relationship with any cartel, and say they don’t receive any money from the gangs. “I wish they were putting in money to promote (the music),” Valenzuela said with a laugh.

For Jose Manuel Valenzuela, an expert on narcocorridos at Mexico’s College of the Northern Border, the success of the Movimiento Alterado’s music shows that drug traffickers have become more socially acceptable in many circles.

“The social presence of drug trafficking helps this music circulate, and this is also made easier by the easy access to it through the Internet,” said Valenzuela, who is not related to the twins.

The new music was born in Culiacan, capital of the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. The fact that the bands Valenzuela promotes sing exclusively about the Sinaloa cartel has mostly to do with geography, he said.

“In Culiacan, you can’t sing about anyone else because they are from here,” he said referring to the Sinaloa cartel. “Singing about the Zetas it’s not even something you think about. Someone could complain. Nobody wants any trouble.”

The Zetas gang, which had its beginning in the border state of Tamaulipas, across the border from Texas, is fighting the Sinaloa cartel for control of drug traffic routes. The battle has caused many of the roughly 40,000 drug war deaths since Mexican President Felipe Calderon ramped up the military offensive on cartels as he took office in 2006.

Some Movimiento Alterado musicians wear camouflage and bulletproof vests on stage and some have names clearly alluding to the Sinaloa cartel, such as Los Mayitos, referring to Zambada’s nickname, or The Buchones, as the new rich who made their fortunes in drug trafficking are called in Sinaloa.

That identification can bring dangers.

Gunmen attacked the car of one of the Movimiento’s singers, Gerardo Ortiz, in March in the western state of Colima. He survived but his representative and driver were killed.

Valenzuela said the violent lyrics merely describe the times.

The narcos “are cutting heads, and they are more bloodthirsty,” he said. “It’s in the news every day. If (the ballads) didn’t speak about that, they would sound false. If a ballad doesn’t express today’s language it sounds old.”

That’s not a new phenomenon: Popular singers from early English troubadours to American gangsta rappers have treated violent outlaws sympathetically.

Movimiento Alterado’s boom began in 2009 when the Valenzuela brothers recorded songs by two bands and released them on the Internet because radio stations wouldn’t play them. In the states of Sinaloa and Baja California, it’s illegal to play songs that advocate drug trafficking on the radio. In May, Sinaloa state Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez went further and banned them at bars and public places. In Chihuahua state, radio stations agreed not to play them.

But on the Internet, the songs are downloaded by the tens of thousands and Movimiento Alterado bands fill dirt-floor rodeo rings and swanky auditoriums across Mexico and the United States.

“The biggest market for this music is in Los Angeles because there we still sell CDs,” Valenzuela said.

They also have greater media exposure there. The bilingual Mun2 cable channel of NBCUniversal Inc. ran a reality series, Los Twiins, about the brothers last year. It showed them developing new artists, such as Rios, and featured a guest appearance by Snoop Dogg.

Most of the albums are recorded in Los Angeles at Twiins Enterprises studios, though the Valenzuelas say some are recorded in Culiacan.

Back at the rodeo ring in Naucalpan, on the northwest edge of Mexico City, it was 3 a.m. and the crowd was getting impatient waiting for the star of the night. Finally, the MC announced “the king of the Movimiento Alterado.”

Dressed in a black shirt and black pants, Rios looked the part of a pop singer. He invited the audience “to drink solid.” The women cheered, and men offered him a drink from their whiskey bottles. The music went on until close to dawn.

Rios doesn’t sing about drug traffickers. He sings as if he is one.

“Honestly, I don’t like guns, in the first place because I’m not very good at using them,” he said. “What I like is playing a role, like in a video game called ‘The Executioner.’ I play the executioner.”



  1. HAHAHA if i was el mayo and el chapo i'd be embarrassed with this shit! Nobody could take this guys serious!Gerardo ortiz is scared to go into mexico now like a bitch for singing and talking about someone he doesn't even know like all the people that on here that stand up for them so much when they don't even know them!

    1. You don't know them either so stfu.
      Puro Gerardo Ortiz plebes Arriba sinaloa

  2. Gerardo Ortiz isnt part of Movimiento Alterado. He's with Del Records. The Valenzuela twins are a bunch sellouts and cheapskate and their music sucks!

  3. Narco corridos have the potential to be even more detrimental to Mexican society than ghetto gangsta rap has been to blacks.

  4. You better enjoy it now cuz someone will cap his ass pretty soon. There is not a promising future in singing narcocorridos. Hey, was the the first one "I yi yi yi, I am the Frito Bandito."

  5. the only ones that seem to be sort-off close to the traffickers are Los Alegres Del Barranco, Canelos De Durango, Arley Perez, Enigma Norteno and Fundido Norteno.

  6. I have nothing against this young cat or Movimiento Alterado but most likely he will end up dead...

  7. New school corridos sound more like divas, how they dress, what they drink,.

    There's nothing better than the old school
    Alegres de teran
    Cadetes de linares
    Los invasores
    Los cachorros
    Carlos y jose
    Luis y julian

    New school corridos should be banned including that fake ass komander, and his minions, movimiento alterado, pero del chimuelo!


  8. Los alegres del barranco regularly play at private parties for el chapo guzman. They also sang at his son's funeral edgar guzman and also at don juan's funeral.

    Los tucanes de tijuana play live at private parties for el chino antrax on a regular basis. Just last weekend they played at a baustismo for los torres. I heard it was for the son of m1's daughter yameli torres whom she had with el mayo's son serafin zambada.

    Other artist that have played at el chapos and mayos parties include roberto tapia, enigma norteno, and los canelos de durango.

    Artist that play for los antrax have been los nuevos rebeldes, grupo cartel, los gatilleros de culiacan, and other less known groups/bands.

  9. Another cultural stain on Mexicans. What`s next? Glamorizing the rape of women? Culture accepts it? No,culture enjoys it. Like blacks singing about gang-banging cept they would shit their pants against these real narcos. lol

  10. Y tiro arriba! Puro movimiento alterado arremangado! (Hey, it beats el pasito duranguense lol)

  11. @11:01 Esos seguin siendo los mejores. That's real old school conjunto Norteno. They didn't need to dress up and wear combat gear. They sang real corridos.


  12. It's sort of fucking funny as hell if not for the amount of hardships inflicted on Mexicans. I've always liked this music, but I also don't speak Spanish...It just always sounded so authentically Mexican. Many a times, I've found myself in some shit hole canta bar high on tequila with a couple local girls I met that week while on vacation and I'd always put on Banda not knowing what the heck I was listening to on the Juke Box......I'm probably lucky I'm still alive.

  13. I bet if I sat down 100to white kids 80%and of them know the lyrics to a NWA songs. You must be the other 20. Bunch of haters. I love Komanders music and style. At least I'm not following a tight pants pretty boy or a dreadlock wearing chrome teeth looking gremlin.

  14. The first 5 comments are stupid! These groups have many followers including myself. The Twins in my eyes are brilliant for coming up with a way to make easy legal money. Is the music wrong?..yes! But people buy it.

  15. I don't wanna hate on the " Movimiento Alterado " I have listened to their songs. Some of it has just gotten too repititive. I mean how many songs can you sing about Chapo and Mayo and their peeps. Some of it is just overboard, the mafia lifestyle is just that right now. It's very marketable with the Hispanic population. These guys have just capitilized on it, can't hate on that. Making paper is making paper. But the dudes you see who groupie these cats is funny and sad at the same time. Some can listen to music and take as just music. Others feel they are living the corrido. Takes a good cerebro to differentiate.

    I am sure Chapo and Mayo have bigger things to worry about than approving corridos. But it is no secret that you can't just sing about anyone with out some consent from someone. You might sing about too much, you might sing about too little. What they don't like is not stating the facts.

    Some had made it very clear they don't want corridos. Once you hit the plataeu where people make you corridos, your exposure is on a whole new level. You either embrace the spot light or you don't.

    Another topic is it didn't make borderland beat news. But el JJ from Gypsy records was shot a few days ago in Sinaloa. Their group of guys sing alot to el Chapo and Mayo. I actually enjoy their music abit more than Moviemiento alterado, los cuates and Tigrillo are their main hitters. Actually a nice group of guys with huge success in the southwest states. With all the hatred between CDS and BLV's and Z's. I speculate but he was gunned down by some sort of hater in Sinaloa. Makes you wonder and change your perspective possibly about what you sing and who you sing about.
    Just sayin,

  16. Anon @11:29 - EXACTLY!!!! These fools are morons. They could never be like the old school bands you mentioned

  17. I'll wait for the decapitation videos for these idiots to show up. They really have to be stupid. Better they are taken out of the gene pool before they do anymore damage to gullible Mexican youth.

  18. Just look at what happened to Diego Rivas in Culiacan for praising El Chapo.

  19. That just goes to show how backwards the entire society it. Glorfying the exact thing that is killing their country, brothers, sisters and society as whole. What a bunch of dumbass's!

  20. Carteles unidos is the best song ever.

  21. These pendejos are horrible their music sucks they dress like Tranys even Lisen to Valentin lalo elizalde oh chalino even Los morros del Norte

  22. Y Fierro Por la 300

  23. Its funny how these new kids trying to make a name for themselves sing about El Chapo and the old school Norteno singers that already have their carreer on lock sing to the Beltran Leyvas.For Example: Ramon Ayala,Cadetes de Linares,Luis Y Julian,Its just an observation I made ,obviously old school singers also praise El Chapo just not as much as they do to the Beltran Leyvas,specially one brother in particular,Arturo.

    Out of all the top drug lords in Mexico, Heriberto Lascano Lascano,Hector Beltran Leyva,Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno" El Azul" are the only ones that dont have corridos about them.You wont find corridos about them.

  24. Y este es el movimiento alterado arremangado enborrachado SINALOESE mis compas!!!! Y fierro pa dentro

  25. The music and the bands are garbage. Basically, making a buck by exploiting the situation, pretty pathetic. But hey I guess if there are retards, who genuinely like this shitty music..than so be it. I'm not surprised just look at losers, who attend these concerts!

  26. Drug Ballad that's the stupiest translation i ever hear. Narco Corridos, say it as they are.

  27. i love narco corridos, people need to stop hating on the music, if this shit wasn't happening in Mexico, nobody would be buying the music. with that being said, these artists need to change it up a little, they always sing the same songs and lyrics. talk about betrayal, snitching, 100 years in prison, wasted talent, talk about how your boss will sell you out in a heartbeat, the paranoia. talk more candidly.

  28. i like to snort cocaine to this music

  29. this is shit music!, and the proof of that is it will NEVER! be a cultural phenomenon accepted internationally, only dumb ass, uneducated, almost illiterate Mexicans are the ones who like it, I hate it when people associate all of us Hispanics with this shit music, MOST LATINOS ACTUALLY HATE IT!

  30. Never liked the M/A music cause they like to remained you a million times in a song what movement they are from. I would rather listen to DEL Records myself.

  31. Here is an oldie ,but goodie...enjoy....

    Un dia 28 de enero,
    Como me hiere esa fecha,
    A don Lamberto Quintero
    Lo seguia una camioneta,
    Iban con rumbo al Salado
    No mas a dar una vuelta.

    Pasaron El Carrizal,
    Iban tomando cerveza,
    Un companero le dijo:
    "Nos sigue una camioneta,"
    Lamberto sonriendo dijo:
    "Pa' que son las metralletas?"

    Ya cerquita del Salado
    Rugieron dos R-15,
    Alli dejaron a un muerto,
    Enemigo de Lamberto.
    Quisieran que fuera cuento
    Pero senores es cierto.

    Un hombre fuera de serie,
    [- From : -]
    Alegre y enamorado,
    Platicando con su novia,
    El estaba descuidado
    Cuando unas armas serteras
    La vida le rebataron.

    Clinica Santa Maria
    Tu vas a ser mi testigo,
    Dos dias despues de su muerte
    Vuelven a sonar los tiros,
    Alli murieron diez hombres
    Por esos mismos motivos.

    Puente que va a Tierra Blanca,
    Tu que lo viste pasar,
    Recuerdales que a Lamberto
    Nunca se podra olvidar.
    Yo por mi parte aseguro
    Que hace falta en Culiacan.

  32. They are all a fucking joke, their clothes suck, their lyrics suck and they are picking low hanging fruit. God forbid they actually try to have something positive to say or even something halfway intelligent. Glorifying these low IQ assholes is just as bad as selling dope. Preprogrammed drum beats an accordian and a keyboard that is supposed to sound like a tuba is the makings for shitty music, it equires very little talent. These clowns are traitors and should be viewed as such, if not for the subject matter then for thier shitty talentless attemp at making music. Oom pa pa my ass!

  33. I second the poster who looks forward to the beheading of these idiots. Komander better buy a titanium neck shield.

  34. I hope he sings about killing Zetas. Inspire the whole country to rise up and kill those fuckers by the boatload.

  35. Lmao Oh the irony, buying regular end cars and trucks while wearing Ferrari cloths. That being said, I give it a couple of weeks before he's decapitated.

  36. I like how the zetas are scum while Sinaloa are the people's heros or something. Guess what? All of these people are low life bottom of the barrel scum. All of them.

  37. a. I see a dead man singing.
    b. All the good ones are dead and now this guy is all there is? Sad. It used to be so real. This guy? Like Justin Bieber...all show, no skill.
    c. Not sure if I mentioned this, but...this guy's days are numbered, wanna bet?
    Happens to all the good ones and will surely happen to this bad one. Not even Mexican, this guy.

  38. I think its pretty sick. So many innocents have died and these scumbags are glamorizing the narco lifestyle which killed those innocent people! fucking sick!!!

  39. Fuck this assholes! That is not music! It sounds like a hail storm on a tin roof! The other guys are going to sharpen their machetes and go after them when they listen to this shit!

  40. @ 3:19pm it's not meant to be liked by everyone.besides i rather listen to this than reggaeton.

  41. @ December 23, 2011 8:54 AM Yup requeson sucks ooops I mean reggayton sucks. Plus if the heads that don't like this music genre then don't listen to it. Peoples rants like here will not change other peoples enjoyment of this music. I'm cool with it. Does it make me a sicario? nope ! do I want to go kill? nope. Terrorize? nope!. If I had the power would I exterminate the Zetas absolutely!! Not because of this music but because of what these drug out Non cartel low lifes have done to Mexico and it's citizens!! hell yeah I would love to blast all those fag zetas!!

  42. This music praises drug cartels.

    Its almost like Chapo is reaching out to the people for support,maybe now he feels like he needs it the most.

    What I find interesting is that people, mainly that are not from Sinaloa love this music and people that are from Sinaloa feel embarrased by it,obviously theres exceptions,but im speaking in general.

    There is other ways of influencing the public,I think I speak for everyone when I say this music should not be as popular as it is.

  43. @ lutticres . music is an opinion not based on fact dummy. i listen to Julio Iglesias also. the violence was already there before the narco corridos began.

  44. gotta give it up to these guys, there making money, but on that note... these dudes just hear about the shit they sing about, the cuates got shot at, and they shit there pants... when you sing about one cartel, you got to worry about the other motherfucker's your pissing off, and if they see you in there turf. thell fucking kill you, them mofos dont give a shit, fuckin kill you just cause there pissed, them dudes fucked up by singing shit they shouldnt have said shit about

  45. i went to see him at one of his concerts here in North Carolina, he's a good singer, give him mad props for doing what he does

  46. narco corridos are a part of mexican culture when i drink i like 2 lisen 2 chalino sanchez or tigres del norte im not a big fan of movimiento alterado they glorify using drugs and killing the old school corridos never said that at least they put words into codes... plus sicarios are just meat 4 the dogs they get paid shit and last a year out in the streets and they end up having a closed casket funeral if theyre lucky the cartels also have taken out all the individual traffickers theres no future in that bizz anymore sooner or later theyll find that out....

  47. Pura Raza acelerada Arley Perez y Chalino Sanchez son los unicos corridos que nececito escuchar


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