Brad Paisley: Accidental Racist (feat. LL Cool J)

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Posted April 10, 2013 by in Country

Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

1/ 5

Details

Genre:
 
Producer:
 
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Time Length:
 
Genre: Country
 
Producer: Brad Paisley
 
Writer: Brad Paisley
 
Label: Arista Nashville
 
Format: Digital download
 
Release Date: 9 February 2013
 

Pros:

Props to Paisley for having the balls to go where no country singer has gone before, except for Hank Williams, Jr.
 

Cons:

Awkward conversation between a Southern white and a Northern black on a tired ballad hardly does any good in healing America's racial wounds
 

Good intentions or not, “Accidental Racist” will live forever as the low blow of Paisley’s career, and will ultimately prove that a star-studded rap collaboration can’t save everything

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Good intentions or not, “Accidental Racist” will live forever as the low blow of Paisley’s career, and will ultimately prove that a star-studded rap collaboration can’t save everything

“I’m just a white man coming at you from a South land…I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we ‘ve done.” These are words that Brad Paisley repeats on the chorus of the most controversial song of his career. Yet when it’s time to man up for what “we’ve done,” he throws his own ancestors under the bus: “Our generation didn’t start this nation/We‘re still picking up the pieces walking on egg shells fighting over yesterday/And caught between Southern pride and Southern blame.” Then Bronx rapper-turned-Hollywood actor LL Cool J tries to polish up the Confederate flag worshipping anthem with a bit of Ebony & Ivory awkwardness that’s pretty hard to believe. “Just because my pants are sagging don’t mean I’m up to no good,” he raps on a dry ballad loaded with twangy guitar licks. Sorry folks, but LL’s pants haven’t sagged since 2006’s Todd Smith. His record sales is a much different story.

And if the song’s awkwardness didn’t peak at the very beginning of LL’s first set of lines, he also creates his own silly version of an Underground Railroad from society’s stereotyping on the hip-hop universe: “If you don’t judge my do-rag, I won’t judge your red flag/If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains.” Having Southern pride is one thing, but acting like Southern history never existed and the hatred that came with it seems awfully dangerous.

In the end, Paisley’s song will certainly get the passionate sold-out crowds at BamaFest hyped. It’s got Skynyrd references and a Lee Greenwood chorus that’s fit for an around-the-table sing-a-long. But don’t expect LL to be greeted with mad accolades at the next BET Awards. Even Harriet Beecher Stowe couldn’t have envisioned a better person to play an Uncle Tom. Never mind the fact that LL and those of his generation still find pleasure in murdering the English vocabulary with their quest to replace “converse” with “conversate;” “Accidental Racist” is a tired country tune that tanks with Paisley’s need to throw a three-hour long Lincoln-ish screenplay into a six-minute Heart of Dixie apology. You know you’re in murky waters when you’re ripping the very song off of YouTube after the backlash comes, and the Alabama-bred deputy editor of Country Weekly (who isn’t a insta-country music critic) announces his disapproval of it.

 

LISTEN TO:
BRAD PAISLEY | ACCIDENTAL RACIST (FEAT. LL COOL J)

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About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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