Vic Mensa Calls Out Liam and Noel Gallagher For “Racist” Criticism of Kanye West and Jay Z
Chicago rapper Vic Mensa has elaborated upon his reported “calling out” of brothers and former Oasis members Liam and Noel Gallagher earlier this year, doubling down on what he perceives are racism-fueled remarks from the pair regarding their respective qualms with Kanye West and Jay Z.
After Liam Gallagher berated Kanye West’s Brit Awards 2015 performance as “utter shit,” Mensa tweeted: “fuck Liam Gallagher and his irrelevant old man opinions.” In a recent interview with The Guardian, Mensa conceded that while he wasn’t looking to “start a beef” with the brothers, he did have an issue with their opinions when it came to Kanye and Jay Z.
“Those guys are legends, but also dickheads,” Mensa said, adding: “Ultimate dickheads. I saw they were mad Kanye played Glastonbury. They were mad when Jay Z played too. Feels very racist to me.”
While neither Gallagher stated that they had an issue with Kanye playing Glastonbury (Noel even went on record to say that “for half an hour it was f**king outrageous,” also branding parts of the performance “amazing” even though he eventually grew bored of it as he isn’t a fan of hip-hop), and Liam’s flippant negative review of Kanye’s Brit performance could hardly be branded as racist on face value, Mensa did have a wider point about the mass reaction to the news of Kanye’s Glastonbury slot outside of the Gallagher’s own opinions.
“They’re gonna say: ‘No it’s not about race, it’s about guitar music, it’s about rock’n’roll’, but I mean like, how many people do you feel are carrying the spirit of rock’n’roll in 2015?” The rapper continued. “Would you not say that Yeezus, and a song like ‘Black Skinhead,’ is carrying the spirit of rock’n’roll? I can’t understand how that’s not fucking rock’n’roll.”
Image Credit: Jeff Schear / Getty Images
Though it’s old news now, Noel’s claim that Jay Z shouldn’t be headlining Glasto way back in 2008 as the festival, according to the singer/songwriter, should have focused upon “guitar music” was certainly an unfounded statement considering Glastonbury’s rich history of musical diversity, and it was that exact same mentality that was echoed when it was announced that Kanye West would be headlining Glastonbury this year, with particularly imbecilic music fans launching a petition in order to convince organiser Michael Eavis to drop Kanye from the line-up.
That didn’t happen, of course, and Kanye went on to headline the festival and deliver one of the most divisive and talked-about headline sets in the festival, but the point remains that the opinion that Glastonbury should only represent one genre of music, an opinion that is only angrily raised when a black artist is announced as a headliner, does sound a lot like racism no matter which way you slice it.
When you consider that the petition to have Kanye removed from the festival referenced his ego as being one of the reasons why his performance should’ve been canceled, with the petition’s creator then saying that the unabashedly arrogant Gallagher brothers should have actually been among those in line to replace him, you’ve got to consider that many of those who believed Kanye should’ve been canned by Glasto didn’t hold that belief because they weren’t a fan of his music – I’m sure they could’ve scoured the Glastonbury schedule and found at least one other performer who they didn’t like – but because he is black and they believe that Glastonbury should only be fronted by white guitar bands.
While Mensa didn’t exactly get his facts straight when it came to what the Gallagher’s did/didn’t say, it’s certainly worth reminding ourselves of the vocal oppositions black artists have faced from white people when trying to play at festivals that they perceive as “theirs,” and Mensa has raised some valid points regarding the underlying racism his fellow black artists come up against from not only music fans, but musicians themselves.