Country music singer Brad Paisley released a new song this week, and it has a lot of people talking. The song, which features rap legend LL Cool J, is called “Accidental Racist,” and is best described (by the blog Jezebel) as a “mournful ballad about how hard it is to be a white man.”
The basic premise of the song is that a white man is trying to explain to a black man his affinity for wearing and/or flying the Confederate flag, but the white man wants the black man to know that basically, ‘IT’S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!’ — he is not at all a racist, and wants to put America’s racist past behind him.
“I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the Southland / Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be / I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done / And it ain’t like you and me can rewrite history,” Paisley sings. “Our generation didn’t start this nation / We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday.”
LL Cool J raps on the song, giving his side of what it is like to be a black man in America.
“Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood / What the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the hood / 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 / Now my chains are gold but I’m still misunderstood.”
As one could imagine, the song has invoked some strong reactions on both sides, and Brad Paisley is making it known that the release of this song is not a publicity stunt, by any means.
“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. I knew it would be, but I’m sort of doing it in spite of that, really.”
He added, “I’m doing it because it just feels more relevant than it even did a few years ago. I think that we’re going through an adolescence in America when it comes to race. You know, it’s like we’re almost grown up. You have these little moments as a country where it’s like, ‘Wow things are getting better.’ And then you have one where it’s like, ‘Wow, no they’re not.'”
TAKE A LISTEN HERE:
“Accidental Racist” appears on Brad Paisley’s new album ‘Wheelhouse’ — which was released today.