And here’s another example for why country-rap crossover songs are the worst. (I will eat every single one of my words if Dolly Parton and Khia put out a song together). In Brad Paisley’s new song “Accidental Racist,” he starts out telling a story about how a dude at Starbucks threw a side-eye at the Confederate flag t-shirt he was wearing. Brad wants that dude to know that he wasn’t declaring his love for slavery by wearing that shit, he was just declaring his love for Skynyrd. Then Brad goes on to sing about how it’s hard being white before LL Cool J comes in and raps about how it’s hard being black and they both go on and on about how we need to stop judging each other. It’s like a bizarro remake of Ebony and Ivory. The chorus goes like this:
I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the south land tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be.
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 pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday.
Caught between southern pride and southern blame.
And LL Cool J raps out the lines “If you don’t judge my do-rag, I won’t judge your red flag” and “If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains.” Fuckery everywhere!
After some people declared this song the worst thing they’ve ever heard, Brad wanted to clear some shit up and he explained the song to Entertainment Weekly. Brad said that it’s not a stunt and he’s not trying to get attention. Brad just wanted to start a conversation about racism and symbols and Starbucks and shit. Here’s a small piece of what Brad said:
I just think art has a responsibility to lead the way, and I don’t know the answers, but I feel like asking the question is the first step, and we’re asking the question in a big way. How do I show my Southern pride? What is offensive to you? And he kind of replies, and his summation is really that whole let’s bygones be bygones and ‘If you don’t judge my do rag, I won’t judge your red flag.’ We don’t solve anything, but it’s two guys that believe in who they are and where they’re from very honestly having a conversation and trying to reconcile.
“I’m with my audience 100 percent in the Southern pride thing, in the same way that a Yankees fan is very proud of where he’s from — that’s LL. We’ve got pictures of him in a New York Yankees cap doing his vocal, which is so appropriate.
“But, 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.’ But it’s not. New York City was all for slavery. They actually voted 60 percent against — or maybe 70 against — Abraham Lincoln because they didn’t like the idea of slavery going away because there goes cotton and there goes tobacco trade, you know what I mean? It’s very hypocritical to feel like it’s just the South’s fault.
“But, at the same time, symbols mean things, and I know one thing: It just doesn’t do any good to blatantly do things and be like, ‘Just get over it.’ That’s not what we’re saying. This is a very sensitive subject, and we’re trying to have the discussion in a way that it can help.”
If Brad and LL Cool J really wanted to end racism through song, they should’ve just done a cover of this: