After all the controversy from Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s well-intentioned collaborative track “Accidental Racist,” the country star admits he’s not sure he’d release the song if he could do it all over again.
If you haven’t heard “Accidental Racist,” it goes something like this: Paisley is “just a white man living in the South land” (not South L.A., by the way) who doesn’t have a racist bone in his body, but doesn’t see what the big deal is if he wants to wear Confederate flag t-shirts.
Enter LL Cool J, who pleads with the “white man” to not judge him for his “gold chains” and gangsta style. To be fair, the overall message of Cool’s lyrics is that white people and black people shouldn’t be afraid to open up dialogues and attempt to understand each other, but he makes some controversial rhymes to get there.
“If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains,” Cool raps.
Of course, I think almost everyone agrees that their hearts were in the right place. The criticism, as I said, is mostly directed at how Paisley and LL Cool J make their point. They might deserve credit for being bold enough to at least put this out there, but did they let someone … anyone … listen to it beforehand?
Instead of promoting a constructive dialogue and being hailed heroes for race relations, Paisley and LL Cool J have mostly been doing damage control over “Accidental Racist.” LL Cool J went on Good Morning America to address his critics yesterday, and Paisley went on Leno last night to clear the air.
“Martin Luther King had an interesting quote. He said darkness doesn’t drive out darkness,” LL Cool J said. “Only love can. We’re talking about forgiveness and compassion.”
“I’m not advising anyone to actually forget slavery but what I am saying is forget the slavery mentality,” he continued. “Forget the bitterness. Don’t get bitter, get better.”
On Leno, Paisley admits that the subject of racism has been on his mind and that he intended to start a dialogue “between country music and rap music” and “to deal with this subject between two individuals in a loving and understanding way.”
When asked if he would record the song again, knowing the controversy it would start, Paisley admitted “I don’t know” and said “my prayer is that it will make something good come out of it.”
You can watch a clip of LL Cool J’s GMA appearance, Paisley’s Leno appearance, and the best reaction to “Accidental Racist” I’ve seen online yet, all below: