Dirty and Rowdy Unfamiliar Mourvedre and Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy
Right from the jump, this wine and record pairing seems pretty self-explanatory, but it has more in common than just the obvious. Yes, Cardi B and Dirty & Rowdy are synonymous in essence, but they’ve also blazed their own trails off the paved road of many others before them. They made their own way by doing it how they want in industries filled with veterans and legacies. They started from the bottom now they here. And the result of their hard work and quick success is wine and music that’s fun and delicious as hell.
Dirty & Rowdy is the brainchild of Hardy Wallace, who unlike a lot of major young winemakers in California, didn’t inherit the role but worked his way up to it all the way from his hometown, Atlanta (represent!). Hardy’s approach has been subversive and innovative without necessarily trying to be, but rather just making the style of wine he wanted to drink, like using Semillon to make an orange wine before it was super trendy. In Atlanta, Hardy met food blogger Matt Richardson who helped him get his foot in the California wine door and eventually became his Dirty & Rowdy partner. The first wine they made was from Mourvedre, not a grape California is known for or that’s familiar to many American palates, but is what put them on the map and is what makes up the bottle I’m enjoying right now, the 2017 Dirty and Rowdy Unfamiliar Mourvedre. And damn is it good.
Cardi B is a true Millenial success story. She’s a young woman in her 20s from The Bronx whose mother is from Trinidad and father is from Dominican Republic. She comes from humble beginnings, then worked in a deli after high school, then a strip club where she grew a popular following on Instagram which jumpstarted her to fame with appearances on Love and Hip Hop and creating two mixtapes with Atlantic Records. Now, she is the fifth female rapper to land a #1 Record on Billboard.
Cardi doesn’t waste any time on her brilliant opening track from her debut album “Invasion of Privacy”. In four minutes, “Get Up 10” lays out her story for us in punchy lyrics that are packed with imagery and get right to the point. Even these three lines from the song tell us so much about her: “Went from makin' tuna sandwiches to makin' the news/ I started speakin' my mind and tripled my views/ Real bitch, only thing fake is the boobs.” “Get Up 10” is almost like the opening number in a really well-written musical score like “Hamilton” - it gives us the highlights which the following songs expound upon.
“Get Up 10” is her resilient anthem. After many a hater tried to get her down before she made it, she walks into her label saying “where the check at?” It’s feminist, determined and motivational. Immediately following, “Drip” featuring Migos shows Cardi on the other side of fame and fortune, describing her literally dripping in diamonds.
Like Cardi, the Dirty & Rowdy dudes ventured into unfamiliar territory as novice winemakers, and specifically with the appropriately named Unfamiliar Mourvedre. They had to restart fermentation and ran into issues with volatile acidity, but they persevered and ended up making some beautiful wine. It’s restrained and light for typically tannic, big Mourvedre, bursting with dark cherry and currant, a little licorice, fresh soil and a hint of toffee. On the palate, it’s juicy, smooth, velvety and luscious. It feels luxurious, like Cardi’s new lifestyle as a reigning queen of rap.
Besides being a really fun song to dance to, “Bickenhead” shows Cardi’s sense of humor with hilarious lyrics. First, she introduces the song with “This goes for all my nasty hoes” which I love because she’s owning her sexuality, controlling her own narrative and refusing to be slut shamed. It gives license to real girls to be themselves, declaring “I'ma flex like a 'roid, I'm a ten, she a 'droid” - droid being fake women, and encourages us to pussy pop to our heart’s desire:
Pop that pussy like poppin' pussy is goin' out of style
Pop that pussy while you work, pop that pussy up at church
Pop that pussy on the pole, pop that pussy on the stove
Make that pussy slip and slide like you from the 305
Put your tongue out in the mirror, pop that pussy while you drive
In addition to the songs on this record like “Bickenhead” and “Bartier Cardi” that are lewd and extra, Cardi shows her range with more sincere songs like “Be Careful” and “Best Life”. “Be Careful” puts her Spanish influenced accent on display showing her roots and the content is both strong and vulnerable. She’s not going to put up with shady, disingenuous, untrustworthy men but at the same time she’s human with a delicate heart. In “Best Life” she speaks from her own personal experience, telling her story of rags to riches and overcoming the haters on her path to fame. Dirty & Rowdy is similar in that their brand says one thing while the literal fruit of their efforts shows off the depth of their talent and skill.
On the Dirty & Rowdy website, they say the Unfamiliar Mourvedre is like The Devil Went Down to Georgia, comparing it to the daring and triumphant Johnny character who defeats the Devil himself in a duel for his soul. In the same spirit, “Invasion of Privacy” ends with Cardi assuring “I do what I like, I do, I do”. Both are on top of their game by using their own strategy to get there.