Many were uncertain when Glastonbury founder and organiser, Michael Eavis, announced the US rapper Jay-Z as a headliner in 2008. Pilgrims who had flocked religiously to the festival for decades mourned the halcyon days of rock “n” roll. Yet, equally as many welcomed the announcement, citing Mr Eavis’ acknowledgment of popular culture and the direction it was moving in at the time.
It wasn’t surprising when iconic British rock band Oasis piped up about the ordeal.
The band had headlined the Pyramid Stage in 1995 and 2004.
Their reaction was characteristically Gallagher in fashion, with Noel speaking his mind when he announced: “I’m not having hip hop at Glastonbury.
“It’s just wrong.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“If you start to break it then people aren’t going to go.”
He added: “I’m sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance.
“Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curveball in on a Sunday night you go ‘Kylie Minogue?’
“I don’t know about it.”
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Yet, as he soon made clear, Jay-Z had 99 problems but Oasis wasn’t one.
In a nod to their criticism, he walked out onto the Pyramid Stage with a guitar slung around his shoulder and rapped Oasis’ Wonderwall.
Shouts and laughs spread like wildfire across the crowd.
Shortly before bursting into Wonderwall, the artist rapped: “That bloke from Oasis said I couldn’t play guitar/Somebody should have told him I’m a f***in’ rock star.”
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A public spat between Noel and Jay-Z soon blew-up.
The rapper, speaking to Tim Westwood in 2008 on BBC Radio 1, admitted he was perplexed by the situation.
He said: “It’s ridiculous, if we don’t embrace what is new, then how do we progress?
“I’ve never actually experienced anything like that before.
“It’s 2008, what is that about?
“That’s such old school thinking, that’s not even how the world thinks anymore.
“So I was really taken aback.
“I think that hip-hop is music and an art form, it’s poetry and it should be accepted and respected like any other art form.
“It’s just coming from a different perspective.”
Tensions cooled as the summer passed.
In August 2008, Noel told NME that he wasn’t taking anything away from Jay-Z as a musician.
He said: “I wasn’t saying I was better than Jay-Z as a person or rock was greater than hip-hop.
“I said what I said, and it was wrong, or it was taken wrong, and now all this (media furore).”
He added: “I’ll have a beer with him one day and it will be fine.”
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