Brad Paisley’s questionable new country-rap song with LL Cool J is raising eyebrows. In Paisley’s “Accidental Racist,” the country singer tries to explain his affinity for Confederate flag apparel to a black man, claiming he’s no racist and he wants to put America’s brutal past behind him.
“Cause I’m a white man livin’ in the Southland/ Just like you I’m more than what you see,” sings Paisley, lamenting he’s “caught between Southern pride and Southern blame.” LL Cool J responds with a guest verse, giving his perspective. “Just because my pants are saggin’ doesn’t mean I’m up to no good/You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would,” he raps. “Now my chains are gold but I’m still misunderstood.”
Paisley insists that his heart is in the right place. “This isn’t a stunt. This isn’t something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that,” he told Entertainment Weekly today. “I knew it would be, but I’m sort of doing it in spite of that, really.”
He added of his collaborator LL Cool J, “You know, it’s such a complicated issue — I’m reading up on it now, [since] I felt I needed to be well-armed for any discussion – and here he is in a Yankees cap, and you think to yourself, ‘Well, here is the antithesis of what was the problem.'”
“Accidental Racist” appears on Paisley new album, Wheelhouse, out tomorrow.