In 2008, Jay-Z arrived at the British rock’n’roll-centric Glastonbury Festival as the first ever rapper to ever headline the notoriously raucous event. Critics called the decision ” a disaster,” “tragic,” and even went as far as to deem Glastonbury forever “contaminated.” And to make matters worse, Noel Gallagher, the lead-singer in the British pop-rock quintet Oasis, established himself as the antagonistic voice of dissenters as he referred to the festival’s guitar-rich history, and said in a BBC interview, “Jay-Z? No Chance.” But, if it was such a bad idea to have a rapper at a rock show, why is that Jay-Z is scheduled to headline Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival this friday?
To say the least, Jay-Z managed to pull out of the Glastonbury show as hip-hop’s most internationally popular live performer. Maybe it was his cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” that led to his momentous success; but, whatever the case, he now intends to bring hip hop into every venue imaginable. This summer he plans to show up at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, and even Germany’s Rock Am Ring, which all seem like the logical next step for the first hip-hopper to top the performance list at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Southern California.
Paul Tollett, Coachella’s founder and operational mastermind cited Jay-Z’s long list of hits, street credibility, and Twitter-worthy showmanship as the reasons for choosing the famed hip-hop star. However, he did also mention that it isn’t just that Jay-Z is capable of headlining such an immense venue, but that there aren’t that many hip-hop performers who could handle the job. So, fortunately for hip hop as an entire genre, there is at least one performer worth seeing live: Jay-Z.