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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 16:10 UK
Jay-Z: Glasto row is 'ridiculous'
By Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Jay-Z

Jay-Z has said the row over his headline slot at Glastonbury is the result of outdated thinking.

The hip-hop star is the first ever rapper to top the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday 28 June.

The announcement has been met with some criticism, with Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher claiming he was "wrong" for the event.

But Jay-Z said: "It's ridiculous, if we don't embrace what is new, then how do we progress?"

He continued: "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 (by the criticism)."

Musical barriers

Disgruntled fans blamed the hip-hop star for poor ticket sales after the three-day event failed to sell out, although organisers said bad weather in previous years has had an effect.

It was claimed that by booking a rapper to headline, Glastonbury was betraying its roots as a rock music festival.

Speaking to Tim Westwood on Radio 1's Rap Show, Jay-Z said people now listen to music in different ways.

He said: "These barriers that they have are only put up there to separate us.

"They are there so people have a way of filing the music but that's not the way kids today listen to music.

"I listen to all types of music and that's what should happen, that's what the world should be about, mixing culture.

"There's only good music and bad music."

Festival hip-hop

It was initially reported that the festival bosses had booked the rap star to try to attract younger music fans to the festival.

Speaking at the time, organiser Emily Eavis said she thought he would win over the critics.

She said: "People will be really, really surprised. Indie kids who don't necessarily go to Jay-Z gigs, I think they'll be really excited about it.

"They might not go to one of his gigs but they're gonna check him out and people will be won over by him."

50 Cent
50 Cent was bottled off the stage at Reading in 2005

But hip-hop artists, historically, have had a mixed reception at UK festivals. Jay-Z, himself, cancelled an appearance at the Reading festival in 2003.

In 2005, 50 Cent was bottled off the stage by a hostile Reading crowd.

But artists like Eminem, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, Ice Cube and Cypress Hill have all enjoyed successful festival sets through the years.

Jay-Z said: "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."

The full interview can be heard on the Radio 1 Rap Show on Saturday 21 June from 9.00pm.



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