Feature

Will Jay-Z ruin Glastonbury?

Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z has been invited to headline England

What happenedHip-hop superstar Jay-Z has been invited to headline England’s Glastonbury Festival this year, and some critics—including Oasis front man Noel Gallagher—aren’t happy about it. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Gallagher told the BBC. “If you start to break it then people aren’t going to go. I’m sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance. Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music. I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It’s wrong.”

What the commentators said“This is nothing Glastonbury has not faced before, said Emily Eavis, co-organizer of the festival, writing in The Independent. “Back in 1984, there were similar criticisms made when The Smiths were named as the headline act. Hippies just wanted acts that had played before.” But Jay-Z was invited this year for “the same reason” that The Smiths were back then—“Glastonbury must continue to evolve and develop.” Not to mention the fact that Jay-Z happens to be “the greatest living hip-hop artist.”

But a lot of people still think that the Glastonbury Festival is all about rock, said Rema Rahman in the blog CinemaBlend. “Legions of anonymous Internet commentators and virtual message board hecklers” share Noel Gallagher’s feelings about Jay-Z headlining this year.

Well, don’t the hecklers and critics seem kind of “racist?” said Stuart Heritage in the blog Hecklerspray. Sure, “Glastonbury organizers are taking a risk with Jay-Z—last time a rapper of any stature played a festival” in England “it was 50 Cent, who got bottled off.” But the festival organizers should “be applauded for stepping out of their comfort zone.” And perhaps “Noel Gallagher’s just worried that Jay-Z will go down a storm at Glastonbury, changing it forever”—which is “more than Oasis ever managed, to be fair.”

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