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This might be details of their history, smuggling successes, or their favourite guns.
- Narcocorrido, the sound of Los Angeles
- Pico Rivera Indoor Swapmeet
Quintero said he was often invited to their parties to sing in person "out of courtesy". Asked if that suggested he wasn't the most objective of reporters, he replied "Well I have a side job, besides being a reporter.
They are a cheerful seven-piece band, with an adventurous line-up that included accordion and a brass section including tuba, a vital ingredient in any narcocorrido band.
Elsewhere in the US, it is fashionable to play guitar, but here, the tuba player gets the girls. The band wanted to talk about their adventurous musical policy more than their lyrics they mix brassy banda styles with accordion-based norteno ballads but agreed that narcocorrido was crucial for their success.
Narcocorrido, the sound of Los Angeles | Music | The Guardian
That night, at a concert in Cudahy on the ouskirts of Los Angeles, BuKnas came onstage with ski masks, fake AK47s and a genuine bazooka, purchased at a gun show. They were playing that night at the Potrero nightclub in Cudahywhich looks like a Mexican suburb of Los Angeles but is officially a city in its own right. The club was like a large warehouse covered in glittering lights, but surrounded by a large car park packed with limos and 4x4s, driven by men sporting cowboy hats and fake ammunition belts.
Being "with the band" has got me into most concerts around the world, including those hosted by drug gangs in the Rio favelas, but here I was told that as an English-speaking reporter I was not welcome.
It appeared that some of those in the audience didn't appreciate intruders. The centre of the narcocorrido industry is Burbank, home to the major film studios, KBUE radio, which regularly plays the songs and Twins Enterprises, where many of them including those of BuKnas de Culiacan are recorded. One of the Twins, Adolfo Valenzuela, shrugged off criticism that the songs he produces glorify violence. The music has been around a long time but we've made it cool. It's what everybody wants, and whoever doesn't sing this is starving.
Narcocorridos are banned on the radio in much of the country: In Los Angeles, there have been surprisingly few complaints about the songs, perhaps because Mexican Americans feel ambivalent about the music.Pico Rivera councilman blasted for anti-military comments - ABC7
They may not like the lyrics but they are delighted that distinctive Mexican styles have survived, and even become fashionable in the USA. He made his name in the USA partly because of his songs, including El Crimen de Culiacanin which there are graphic descriptions of murder victims being eaten by dogs, but also because of his lifestyle.
Compton Fashion Center Archives -
He was playing old-style Mexican music, but for young Mexican Americans he was now seen as a far tougher hero than any exponents of gangster rap. Of several CFC merchants I spoke with, all said they believe the space will be occupied by a Walmart, though the owner, Soo Lee, has said nothing about his plans for the enormous space.
So this may be rumor as much as anything. Walmart did not confirm a new store at the Compton swap meet. Still leaves the question of what will go into the center that was making the owner push the vendors out so abruptly after so many years in business.
Welcome to the Paramount Swap Meet
Of course, Walmart has also had problems locating inner-city stores in Southern California. Inglewood famously turned away the giant retailer, fearing it would lay waste to numerous mom-and-pop merchants.
Compton Fashion Center opened in the space of what had been a Sears in It was the first large Korean-owned indoor swap meet in Southern California. With that, in a region then becoming a magnet for immigrants from across the world, the indoor swap meet idea took off.
Swap meets became a safe place for immigrants, speaking little English and without much capital, to wedge into a cranny of the American Dream. Compton Fashion Center, in particular, drew people from all over with, in its heyday, vendors selling jewelry, makeup, music, cellphones, groceries and clothe.
His shop and the center have been in numerous rap music videos.