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Hispanic Icons: Los Tigres del Norte

by Monika Fabian

Hispanic Icons: Los Tigres del Norte


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Los Tigres del Norte are the "boss of bosses." The Mexico-born, San Jose-based quintet has earned the nickname los ídolos del pueblo ("the idols of the people"), but "The Tigers of the North" are also the people's poets, advocates and historians. That's because no group has captured the migrant Latino experience with as much earnest dignity and honesty as Los Tigres del Norte.

For more than four decades, the ensemble-cum-institution founded by the Hernandez family has penned corridos, rancheras, cumbias and ballads about love, migration, drug trafficking and bicultural and binational identity. And in that sense, the norteño of Los Tigres is analogous to the best of salsa and hip-hop: It gives voice to the realities and experiences of society's unheard. So as we continue celebrating the accomplishments of Latinos in the U.S., let's honor these chroniclers of el pueblo.

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