"I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury," Oasis' Noel Gallagher told the BBC in 2008. "It's wrong." He was talking about Jay Z, who made headlines when he became the first hip-hop artist to land the top Saturday-night headlining slot at the iconic U.K. musical festival. The rapper went on to earn rave reviews and shut Gallagher up with a cover of "Wonderwall." Three years later, his wife, Beyoncé, faced the same criticism that hip-hop didn't belong at a rock festival. Though her slot was on Sunday, not Saturday, she gave what Billboard called a "career-defining" performance. Oh, and she was pregnant with Blue Ivy at the time. Now it's Kanye West's turn — to both claim the coveted headliner status and deal with the collective bitching about why rappers have no place amongst the mud-splattered wellies and daisy chains at Glasto.
NME reports that a petition has already been circulating, urging Glasto organizers to "cancel Kanye West's headline slot and get a rock band." "Kanye West is an insult to music fans all over the world," the petition states. "We spend hundreds of pounds to attend Glasto, and by doing so, expect a certain level of entertainment. Kanye has been very outspoken on his views on music...he should listen to his own advice and pass his headline slot on to someone deserving! Lets prevent this musical injustice now!" In other words, someone is out-Kanyeing Kanye. While there's a certain flash of pleasure at seeing West get payback for his Beck stunt at the Grammys, the backlash hints at a larger problem. Is it West people have a problem with, or rap and hip-hop culture as a whole? Let's take a look at some of the Twitter reactions — starting, of course, with one of those outspoken Gallaghers.
Is Glasto a rock festival? Sure, but it's also expanded to include reggae, dance, country, and countless other musical genres. Nobody batted an eye when Dolly Parton performed last year. Hate West all you want, but the argument that hip-hop doesn't deserve to be featured doesn't hold water; Jay Z proved that. If nothing else, all those rock purists can cross their fingers for a Paul McCartney cameo. Will that appease them?