Beasting off the Riesling - Riesling and street credibility in Rap music

Beasting off the Riesling - Riesling and street credibility in Rap music

Is there any link between wine snobbing and street credibility? The Wine Rambler of course knows a little something about the former; my street credentials though are limited to having taken part in two street fights in Swabian suburbia in the 80s (don't ask) and walking past a burnt-out car in Hackney at 2am.

But all of this is about to change! Because from now on, drinking Riesling will be about as cool as hanging out with "da niggas" and torching a few cars. Seriously! A little while ago I noticed that 'Riesling' became more popular on Twitter; more importantly perhaps, lots of cool kids mentioned it: 'Beasting off the Riesling' seemed to pop up every other minute in my TweetDeck. What had happened?

these two gents know the answer *
these two gents know the answer *

In August, Hip hop artist Jay-Z released the single 'We run this town'. It features Rihanna and Kanye West (recently been called a Jackass by a rather un-presidential American president). The video is full of gangsters, torches and cool moves. And it features the following lyrics:

She got a ass that'll swallow up a g-string And up top, uh, two bee stings And I'm beasting off the riesling And my nigga just made it out the precinct

Turn up the volume, pour some more Riesling and go to 4:02:

All the way, I knew it! Riesling is going to get you all the girls:

'Tis the life that everybody ask for 'Tis the fast life, we are on a crash course What you think I rap for? To push a fuckin Rav 4? But I know that if I stay stunting All these girls only gon want one thing

But what does 'beasting' mean you may ask? The Urban Dictionary - yes, I am destroying all my street cred here - defines it as follows:

'To become a beast is: 1.to become real good at something i.e. video games, the guitar, football game 2.to become ferocious and belligerent and to engage in actions of violence or disrespect. 'Beasting' or 'beasting it' is to engage in actions which demonstrate any of the two before stated definitions.

Leaving this nerdy digression behind, let's go back to the issue of street credibility. Eventually, I was there. Sitting in my arm chair with a nice late harvest all the ghettos would open up their gates to me. Black convertibles, golden necklaces, scantily clad women - here I come! Riesling drinkers of the world, we are now officially cool! However, the issue seems to be open to debate. Leaving the cool Twitter-gangstas aside, other bloggers do not really seem to like the idea of snobs like me being associated with street cred:

Hahaha whaaaaaaaat!?! The RIESLING!?! What does that even mean? That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard! Maybe not the dumbest, because I've listened to talk radio before, but COME ON! Right now, your contemporaries are extolling the intoxicating virtues of Patron and Ciroc and a hundred other forms of alcohol, and you choose RIESLING? The only wine with less street cred than that is white zinfandel, and it's a pretty close race. [...] And what is "beasting"? I assume it means getting amped up in an aggressive manner, so I would love to know exactly how riesling in particular is the super-juice that is perfect for all your mega-hyped-up beasting needs. Are you going to go raise some hell at the local Pottery Barn? Plan on FREAKING OUT at brunch? This should totally be the new tagline for riesling: "Riesling: When You Just Need to Start Some Shit at a Bridal Shower".

So is it all lost then? No beats and bitches for the Wine Rambler? I think I will counter this with a time-honoured argumentum ad verecundiam: the Drink Planner knows fuckin' shit about Riesling whereas the Wine Rambler is da Riesling man! Expert knowledge always wins; Riesling street cred saved! Well, not really, at least according to the Twitter wisdom of Matt Helgeson:

"I'm beasting off the riesling" - Kanye, is this what it's come to? countdown to lyrics about expensive brands of extra virgin olive oil

So before I slip back into middle class hell, maybe I should end this pots now, with Rihanna singing:

Feel it coming in the air Hear the screams from everywhere I'm addicted to the the thrill Its a dangerous love affair Can't be scared when it goes down Got a problem, tell me now Only thing that's on my mind

... Riesling! * Kanye West and Jay-Z, photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebarry/ (licensed CC BY 2.0)

Submitted by Guest Thursday, 15/07/2010

yo, he is talking about his girl...big ass, small tits and white like riesling wine.

do your homework next time.

fco.

Submitted by torsten Thursday, 15/07/2010

In reply to by Guest

Thanks for your comment. This makes me wonder though, how exactly can you be 'beasting off your girlfiend'? Although, maybe we don't want all the gory details that you may imagine in this instance...

Submitted by Lindsey Wednesday, 18/08/2010

In reply to by torsten

I think this is hilarious cause a friend of mine brought a bottle of wine over the other night and it was Riesling, which I had never tried. The whole night in the back of my mind I was thinking I know I've heard of Riesling before. Then today it hit...it's from a song! So I googled it and found this. Oh well just found it funny! Must say it is a very tasty wine!

Submitted by torsten Wednesday, 18/08/2010

In reply to by Lindsey

Happy to be of service, Lindsey! Who would have thought that Jay-Z turns into an ambassador for this fantastic grape variety. Happy to hear you enjoyed your Riesling - we like it a lot.

Cheers!

Submitted by Guest Tuesday, 17/05/2011

In reply to by torsten

Bahaha.

I know this post is super old, but I figured I'd necro it to explain...

Beasting off his girlfriend is referring to being the one source in her life - that he has dominated her completely and she is his bitch. It could also imply that he's the master of sex or something like that. Rappers tend to combine both into crazy combinations :)

Submitted by Guest Tuesday, 17/05/2011

In reply to by Guest

Oh, to add, he could be actually referring to the idea that he's smashed drunk on high-class wines. A lot of rappers refer to their monetary assets and social/societal prowess.

Submitted by torsten Tuesday, 17/05/2011

In reply to by Guest

Or he could be beasting of the Riesling while, erm, dominating his significant other, as you suggest. Who would have thought a rap song would be the subject of such an extensive exegesis. One thing is certain though, he has definitely contributed to more interest in Riesling. Maybe the German Wine Board should start sponsoring musicians...

Submitted by Frank Sunday, 17/07/2011

Don't sell hip-hop short, you can analyze a song and it's elements for years and not quite catch all of the nuances and intentions of the MC. In this case, Kanye is definitely enjoying the wine in question, he's known to enjoy the finer things in life. Black people are also human and enjoy the same things you do, with our "niggas."(I'm offended, anyone else?)

But being "off of" something is a clause in itself, meaning to be drunk/high off of the alcohol or drug of choice; in this case Riesling.

So that would leave the "beasting" all for the first part of the line referring to his companion for the evening.

He's continues on in the verse introducing his girl, who has never experienced such refinement, to high-end luxury.

Submitted by torsten Sunday, 17/07/2011

In reply to by Frank

I had never doubted that Kanye was actually referring to Riesling, as in the wine. Using it as a stand-in for his white girlfriend for instance would only make sense if a majority of his audience would be likely to make that connection, and that does not seem likely to me. Insofar I agree with you, Frank. If my use of the "niggas" has offended you I am sorry, but you may have to bring that up with Kanye as I was referencing him. Either way, the song has definitely increased interest in Riesling, and if it also still gives occasion to a little analysis of lyrics than even better. Thanks for your comment.

Submitted by Guest/Jav Sunday, 09/10/2011

he means he is over the top right now(Beasting) because he is feeling good off of the wine(Riesling)