The Success of “Humble” Corridos

LA-based label Rancho Humilde is paving the way for corridos tumbados with a stellar lineup of talent placing corridos as one of the most popular subgenres in Latin music.

The Success of “Humble” Corridos
Felipe Garrido
April 18, 20237 min read
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One of the fastest growing Mexican genres is corridos tumbados, also known as trap corrido, a variation on traditional corridos with an urbano flare. Natanael Cano, one of the leading artists of the genre, told LA Times he defines it as “regional Mexican like the one you, or, I don’t know, your parents used to listen to; but with a younger seasoning, a younger regional Mexican.” Chartmetric examined the exponential rise of Trap Corrido back in 2021 and then saw artists of this genre come up in the 2022 H2 6MO report as some of the fastest-growing in the world. Considering that several Corridos Tumbados artists are currently among the top Mexican artists based on Chartmetric rank, we wanted to take a look at Rancho Humilde, an independent label in LA that signed Cano and many other artists leading this booming genre.

Rancho Humilde was founded in LA around 2011 by Jimmy Humilde, José “JB” Becerra and Roque “Rocky” Venegas, who met each other when Jimmy was working at a tacos food truck. They began by supporting emerging corridos artists, but eventually managed to sign their own artists, reaching a roster of more than 80 artists today. The label’s approach was to foster the growth of the new regional Mexican music that included elements of urban music, specifically hip-hop and trap. Jimmy told LA Times that he based his business approach on the success of legendary west coast hip-hop labels such as Death Row and Bad Boy Records, but applied to the corridos tumbados development in LA.

The soaring popularity of corridos tumbados is spearheaded by three best-selling Rancho Humilde artists: Natanael Cano, Junior H and Fuerza Regida. The combined total Spotify monthly listeners for the three artists increased from 1.6 million at the beginning of 2019 to 54.1 million in 2023, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 142%.

The three artists have experienced an outstanding steady growth of Spotify monthly listeners, which became exponential around the second half of 2022.

Corridos tumbados currently have a huge importance in Spotify playlists. According to Chartmetric data, the 2nd and 3rd most followed playlists of Mexican music are entirely focused on this genre. Los Que Mandan and Corridos Perrones, with 3 million and 2.7 million followers each, are two of the most popular playlists worldwide. When filtering for Latin music playlists globally, Los Que Mandan comes in #13 and Corridos Perrones #19 on the worldwide ranking, competing with Latin urban music, Argentine trap and Brazilian music playlists. The three leading artists of Rancho Humilde represent 21% of the songs in Corridos Perrones and 25% of Los que Mandan.

Natanael Cano

Nathanael Ruben Cano is Rancho Humilde’s stellar phenomenon. At just 21 years old, he has experienced a non-stop rise in popularity worldwide and has become the face of trap-infused corridos tumbados. His 2019 album Corridos Tumbados hit #4 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart. He has remained a constant in Billboard Latin charts, hitting #13 with 2020's album Corridos Tumbados Vol. 2, and #15 with Trap Tumbado in 2020, and #9 with A mis 20 in 2021.

Cano’s strategy relies on collaborations with other artists. In 2019, he released “Soy El Diablo - Remix,” a reimagined version of a song he previously released, this time with Bad Bunny. He constantly counts with collaboration from other corrido artists like Victor Cibrian, and his fellow label artists Junior H and Fuerza Regida. In 2021, he collaborated with mariachi veteran Alejandro Fernandez, for a more traditional twist of “Amor Tumbado.” This way, he represents the zeitgeist of the traditional regional music meeting the modern trap aesthetic.

His most recent notable collaborations have been with corridos man of the hour Peso Pluma–who has dethroned Bad Bunny as the most streamed artist in Mexico. The duo, along with Gabito Ballesteros, scored their first Billboard 100 hit in February 2023 with "AMG" and later released "PRC" which is also currently in the chart.

Cano’s Spotify monthly listeners have been steadily growing at a CAGR of 156% in the last four years, moving from a few thousand to over 17 million. He currently boasts almost 6 million Spotify followers.

The sharp increase in Spotify monthly listeners by the end of 2022 correlates to the increase in reach of Spotify playlists. He has been featured in popular playlists like La Reina, Corridos Perrones, Los Que Mandan and Viva Latino.

Around 44% of Cano’s Spotify monthly listeners are from Mexico, and 18% from the US, followed by Guatemala, Colombia, and Spain, which account for a little more than 10%. In social media, mainly YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, he appeals to mostly male audiences in 18-24 age groups, with the largest proportion in Mexico (65%), with the United States coming second (27%).

Cano’s active presence on TikTok has been key for tapping to younger generations. His TikTok followers have been steadily growing at a rate of 63%, with an important jump in September 2021, following his skateboarding posts that were very popular with his fans.

Moreover, “Arriba”, “AMG” and “Amor Tumbado” are the leading songs used in TikTok posts, with a combined total of 1.2 million posts and growing.The top influencers that have used Cano’s songs include JD Pantoja from Mexico, Naim Darrechi from Spain, and Kevlex from the U.S. These are followed by top content creators from places like Chile and Germany, showcasing Cano’s international reach.

Junior H

Antonio Herrera Pérez, better known as Junior H, is a 21-year-old Rancho Humilde artist and one of the fastest growing acts in the corridos tumbados scene. Junior H started his career in 2019, with the album Mi Vida En Un Cigarro, garnering attention from music producers. Jimmy Humilde signed him to Rancho Humilde shortly after, where he met Natanael Cano and released “Disfruto lo Malo” with him, to great response from the audience. He also has released songs with Oscar Maydon, Peso Pluma, El Chachito, and Ovi, among many other growing artists. His following albums topped many Billboards’ Latin lists.

Junior H’s remarkable growth can be observed in his Spotify monthly listeners CAGR of 332%, jumping from hundreds of thousands in 2019 to 17 million in 2023.

He also benefited tremendously from his playlists’ presence on Spotify. His Spotify monthly listeners' growth correlates closely to the playlist reach on the platform. Along with Cano, he is one of the protagonists of the playlists Corridos Perrones and Los Que Mandan. Moreover, Junior H is also included in more traditional playlists like Éxitos México.

Roughly 39% of Herrera’s Spotify monthly listeners are from Mexico, while 20% are from the U.S. Similar to Cano, his audience demographic on Instagram and YouTube is concentrated in 18-24 males. Junior H’s YouTube audience is 58% Mexican and 29% American. Notwithstanding, for Instagram, a majority of 68% of followers are from the U.S., and only 29% are from Mexico.

Despite Junior H not having a TikTok account, his songs thrive on the platform thanks to his fans. The top tracks “El Rescate”, “Clave Ali”, “Se Amerita” and “El Hijo Mayor” account for over 360K TikTok posts. Top influencers that have featured Junior H’s songs in their posts are mostly Mexico-based, with the exception of Big Soto from Venezuela.

Fuerza Regida

Jesus Ortiz Paz fronts the quartet Fuerza Regida, originally from Sinaloa, now based in California. They are considered pioneers of “requinto urbano,” which features rural vernacular acoustic guitar and urban lyrics and is known as the predecessor of corridos tumbados. Their debut album, En Vivo Puros Corridos, was released in 2018, followed by Del Barrio Hasta Aquí in 2019. In 2021, they surprised fans with the charting Del Barrio Hasta Aqui, Vol. 2. Fuerza Regida’s latest releases in 2022 are two 13-track full length albums, Sigan Hablando and Pa Que Hablen.

Fuerza Regida’s highest charting songs have counted with collaboration from Grupo Frontera, Natanael Cano, Edgardo Nuñez and Peso Pluma. The band has been uninterruptedly charting on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Album charts and Top Latin Album charts.

The band’s evolution since 2018 has seen unceasing growth. They have shifted from a few thousand Spotify monthly listeners to over 19 million in 2023, at a steady CAGR of 278%. Fuerza Regida currently has over 2.6M followers on Spotify.

Spotify playlists have also been vital for Fuerza Regida, since their playlist reach evolution closely resembles the band’s streaming growth in the platform. Besides Corridos Perrones and Los Que Mandan, which are strictly focused on this genre, they have also been included in top listened playlists such as La Reina and Viva Latino.

Fuerza Regida’s Spotify monthly listeners are predominantly from Mexico (40%), while 22% are from the USA and the rest come from other Latin American countries. Their audience reach is mostly 18-24 male audiences similar to Cano’s and Junior H’s, but, Fuerza Regida does have a bigger reach for 25-34 age cohort and female audience, particularly on TikTok and Instagram.

The band’s songs have been included in over 1.5 million TikTok posts, with the top tracks being “Bebe Dame,” “El Dinero Los Cambio” and “911,” all still trending upwards in the platform. Their top influencer is Bella Poarch from the Philippines, followed by a majority of Mexican content creators, and a few Spanish and North Americans.

The Future of Corridos Tumbados

As Natanael Cano, Junior H and Fuerza Regida continue growing, Rancho Humilde is signing a new cohort of promising artists in the corridos tumbados scene. Some of them are Ovi, Ivonne Galaz, Oscar Maydon, Jesus Ortiz de Paz, Los Hijos de Garcia, as well as the established norteño Orange County-based group, Legado 7. Collaborations and strong streaming playlist reach have played a fundamental role in the growth of Rancho Humilde’s artists, and we can expect corridos tumbados to continue growing on a global scale on its way to becoming a mainstream genre and a staple of Latin music.