Wine and Hip-Hop: Where the Wild Things Meet the Rap Generation
Wine is slowly but surely infiltrating American culture. Now firmly rooted in California, a rebel in British Columbia and under constant in-pour from old and newer worlds. As college years fade away and club going is no longer an option, the peace and soft jazz of a wine bar comes to mind. Only it is not jazz but, ‘classic’ rap (distilled to the very best of 90s and early 00s). Back then it was the music of rebellion against the rules and the system. Still is! And as hip-hop has aged it has become exceedingly popular to pair it with wine. Strictly from NYC experience, but those sort of trends always start here.
Is it because the current generation of wine drinkers are still emotionally attached to college years when those songs just came out, life was light and the Hemingway ways were rife. Or is there something more to this ever-evolving story? We can’t remove society from the equation. It has done its best to make sure all is well with the world. Or has it? According to hip-hop, it is falling short. Gold is soft but gold teeth are not. They are tough and outspoken. So hip-hop has endured, evolved, marched forward, the founding fathers still firm as always.
So have endured the sharp rhymes we grew up with that told us to toughen up. Nowadays we are as tough as we are going get and we know it. The proof is seen as we slowly switch from tequila to wine. The gods’ favorite libation endowed with history, tradition and sophistication. So this ancient drink has happened to mature in our culture at the same time as hip-hop. And we gladly marry them to make the city-buzz make sense again. We learn expressions like double decant and off-dry. We show off with them! Wine has become a social instrument (a proof of maturity) complimenting our seemingly immature affection for rap.
Social animals need to convey complex and nuanced information, often non-verbal. We all carry Mozart’s unquenchable gusto for life. We are not all eminent artists but we can recede coherently to a vanishing point in the center. Center of what? The center of our favorite shoes. Aided by the cacophony of wine and a rapper singing us to sleep. Because hip-hop artists are like Odysseus; they have seen much and sang about even more. Their art is a propaganda with neck and body ornaments. So is wine, traveled over oceans and centuries to reach us and compliment our music.
more by MILEN VASILEV
Photograph by Ryan McGuire