Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

Committee Chair

Pablo Garcia Loaeza

Committee Co-Chair

Victoria Garrett

Committee Member

James Siekmeier


Narcocorridos, or Mexican drug ballads, are a contemporary form of the corrido connected to banda music in the northern part of Mexico and along the border in the United States. The narcocorrido is sometimes compared to gangsta rap due to its exciting narratives of drug traffickers who rose above poor socio-economic conditions to become powerful and wealthy figures in the drug trade. The stories reflected in Mexican drug ballads highlight the lifestyle of drug lords and aspects of the drug trade that are imbued with violence. Narcocorrido lyrics focus on misfortunes and death while referencing events related to illegal criminal activities of the drug trade. Violent depictions have led to narcocorridos being banned in parts of Mexico and the United States. However, narcocorridos are rather mild in comparison to the hyper-violence that is experienced in real, everyday life as a result of drug trafficking. Narcocorridos are not a cause of drug trafficking, instead they are an effect or aspect of narcocultura.