This 420, We Need To Be Listening To Green Corridos

in Culture

Legado 7’s lead singer Alex Guerra noticed that the vibe at his band’s concerts changed as their subgenre of Mexican regional music, the stoner-friendly corridos verdes, began to rise in popularity. “It used to be all about the alcohol,” he remembers. “But instead of drinking, people started bringing marijuana, smoking in front of the stage. That’s what you always see at the High Times events, Kushstock, all those festivals. But this was a Mexican crowd.”

Keep in mind, Guerra is usually hitting a blunt between stanzas himself. Those who don’t listen to regional Mexican music (a U.S.-created umbrella term that refers to sounds like norteña, ranchera, banda, and mariachi) might think that the soundtrack of marijuana culture is Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley, Afroman — even the Grateful Dead, depending on sonic orientation. But for a significant portion of U.S. Chicano and Latino communities, an ideal blunt-rolling playlist is corridos verdes (green corridos), a strain that runs through the regional genre of corridos, and one that Guerra and his band helped pioneer.

In addition to northern Mexico, California has long been a center of corridos, a reputation powered by vast Chicano communities and influential Latino music industry institutions. Guerra immigrated to the state when he was just 12 years old from his childhood home of Michoacán, making the perilous trek across the deserts of the U.S.-Mexico border with a coyote.

Guerra wrote his first song at a tender eight years old, and he’d soon find that his talents lay outside the classroom at Orange County’s Santa Ana High School. Guerra wrote his first corrido verde about a stoner friend during these teens years, but it wasn’t until he met accordionist Ramón Ruíz that he finally had the push that he needed to …

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Author: Caitlin Donohue / High Times

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