'Accidental Racist' | Brad Paisley | LL Cool J - KMSP-TV

Brad Paisley-LL Cool J's 'Accidental Racist' stirs up controversy

Posted: Updated:
Brad Paisley hosting the Country Music Awards, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 1, 2012. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, file) Brad Paisley hosting the Country Music Awards, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 1, 2012. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, file)

By CHRIS TALBOTT | AP Music Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Brad Paisley's collaboration with LL Cool J on "Accidental Racist" has accidentally kicked up some controversy.

The song about racial perception has drawn ire from both the country and urban music worlds after its wide release.

Paisley's publicist says he isn't giving interviews about the song. But the country star known for the white cowboy hat and virtuoso guitar work briefly addressed the debate Monday night on Twitter when he reposted a radio host's blog entry on the song he felt was thought-provoking.

"Cool," Paisley wrote. "It's fun to get ya'll's take on this. Bring it."

The song appears on Paisley's new self-produced album "Wheelhouse," released Tuesday. It's his most ambitious album so far and the progressive message of "Accidental Racist" is in line with opinions the 40-year-old West Virginia-born singer has expressed before in interviews and songs.

Of the album, Paisley wrote, "I hope it triggers emotions," and says he wouldn't change a thing about it: "This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya'll."

At its heart, "Accidental Racist" is about how cultural symbols favored by whites and blacks -- the fashion choice of wearing Confederate flags or baggy pants, for instance -- come loaded with meaning.

It's not a new discussion. Though race relations have evolved over the decades, cultural symbols continue to color perceptions.

Paisley uses the Confederate flag as an example in the song, noting whites are "caught between Southern pride and Southern blame" 150 years after the end of the Civil War.

"I try to put myself in your shoes and that's a good place to begin," Paisley sings, "but it ain't like I can walk a mile in someone else's skin/Because I'm a white man livin' in the southland/Just like you I'm more than what it seems/I'm proud of where I'm from/But not everything we've done/It ain't like you and me can rewrite history/Our generation didn't start this nation/We're still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made long before we came."

LL Cool J's publicist did not immediately respond to messages. The 45-year-old, who elevated himself from a teen rap sensation on the streets of Queens to an American cultural icon as an actor and personality, provides the response to Paisley's meditations.

He kicks off his portion of the song "Dear, Mr. White Man, I wish you understood what the world was really like living in the hood." Later in the song he raps, "I guess we're both guilty of judging a the cover not the book/I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air/But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here."

Later he and Paisley enter a call and response portion of the song where LL Cool J raps in part: "If you don't judge my `do rag, I won't judge your red flag. ... If you don't judge my gold chains, I'll forget the iron chains ... Can't rewrite history, baby ... let bygones be bygones ... Rest in peace, Robert E. Lee, I got to thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me ... ."

  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Shawn Mendes EP rockets to No. 1 thanks to Vine

    Shawn Mendes EP rockets to No. 1 thanks to Vine

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:45 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:45:13 GMT
    Singer Shawn Mendes is a 15-year-old Vine video superstar from Canada. His dreamy 6-second plea to his fans to buy his new EP catapulted Mendes to the No. 1 spot for EPs on iTunes. And it all happened for him in just 37 minutes.He became twitter's top trending topic as well with the hashtag #shawntonumber1.
    Singer Shawn Mendes is a 15-year-old Vine video superstar from Canada. His dreamy 6-second plea to his fans to buy his new EP catapulted Mendes to the No. 1 spot for EPs on iTunes. And it all happened for him in just 37 minutes.He became twitter's top trending topic as well with the hashtag #shawntonumber1.
  • Group calls for end to sexual harassment at Comic Con

    Group calls for end to sexual harassment at Comic Con

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:33:07 GMT
    If you've never been, the annual convention for comic book fans known as Comic Con can be quite an eyeful. Women and men often even dress up as their favorite comic book character. Some of those costumes especially among the women can be revealing and proactive. Some women formed a group called Geeks for Consent. They have collected more than 2,500 signatures on a petition demanding that Comic Con organizers adopt a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment.
    If you've never been, the annual convention for comic book fans known as Comic Con can be quite an eyeful. Women and men often even dress up as their favorite comic book character. Some of those costumes especially among the women can be revealing and proactive. Some women formed a group called Geeks for Consent. They have collected more than 2,500 signatures on a petition demanding that Comic Con organizers adopt a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment.
  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices