Ever since Noel Gallagher opened the can of worms as to whether Jay Z, the biggest hip-hop artist in the world, should headline Glastonbury so much has changed. In the immediate aftermath, the contentious debate raged on in all quarters of society, as people questioned whether hip-hop had a place in Britain's most historic music festival.
Glastonbury is the most prestigious rock and roll festival in Britain, perhaps even the world, with headliners in the past have included hall of famers like Pink Floyd, The Who, Radiohead, and Oasis. Change is never accepted lightly, and the announcement that Jay-Z would be headlining was met with shock and horror by many purists.
The Oasis frontman famously quipped: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong." Noel contended that such a line-up choice on the prestigious Saturday night slot would bring to question the history and the roots of the much loved festival.
The war of words raged on, as Jay Z replied: “We don't play guitars, Noel, but hip-hop has put in its work like any other form of music.”
The Brooklyn Wrapper continued, saying: “This headline show is just a natural progression. Rap music is still evolving. We have to respect each other's genre of music and move forward …. I've never ever had a show that's caused this much of a stir so I'm really looking forward to it.”
Jay performed that night in 2008, coming onto stage with a pearl white electric guitar and playing a version of the influential Oasis track Wonderwall, before ripping into his own hit 99 Problems. The event was a star studded occasion, with Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow watching on from the side of the stage, as Jay Z blew the crowd away. Critics and fans alike congratulated Jay Z on an amazing showpiece, and a seminal Glastonbury moment.
Now, after Jay-Z's watershed performance, a number of hip-hop and rap stars have headlined some of the premier music festivals in the UK. Kanye West took centre stage at Wireless, and Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce, was then inducted into the annals of Glastonbury folk history as she headlined with great aplomb in 2011.