LL Cool J says "Accidental Racist," his eyebrow-raising new song with country star Brad Paisley, is a "bold statement" that he's proud to have made.
The rapper told CNN that he and Paisley intended to bring people together with their country-hip-hop hybrid. "Music is about, and art is about, connecting different people, and building bridges and breaking the rules," LL Cool J said at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. "If it's not compelling, and it's not complex and it's not interesting, then what are we doing it for? So I think that's the right move."
Though the song has sparked a backlash for its treatment of race relations – in the lyrics, a white man explains his Southern pride and Confederate flag t-shirt to a black man in an effort to reach a mutual understanding – LL Cool J still believes in the track's message. "I needed to do something that was going to be interesting like that, and shake things up, and jump out of the box," the rapper said. "I'm really proud of it, and I hope the world hears it and enjoys it."
"Accidental Racist" is on Paisley's new album Wheelhouse.