Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage
It ain’t the first time a country singer and rapper have teamed up to do a duet-but Nelly’s “Over Again” feat. Tim McGraw was not nearly as controversial as this.
Brad Paisley’s song, “Accidental Racist” from his brand new album, “Wheelhouse” released this week, has ignited country music fans-and not necessarily in a good way.
“We decided not to respect boundaries,” he told host Lara Spencer on Good Morning America in response to people calling the song a “mess” and simply “bad.”
“We thought anything that helps tell the story and, I guess, be entertaining, we thought it was time to incorporate it.”
While some fans think the song was written more for shock value, Paisley disagrees and sticks by the lyrics:
“I’m proud of where I’ve come from, but not everything we’ve done/It ain’t like you and me can re-write history,” the chorus sings. “Our generation didn’t start this nation, and we’re still picking up the pieces, walking on eggshells, fighting over yesterday/Caught between southern pride and southern blame… Cause I’m a white man, living in the South land.”
“I think that [the song] comes from an honest place in both cases, and that’s why it’s on there and why I’m so proud of it,” Paisley tells Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
LL Cool Jay comes in the verse, singing:
“Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood what the world is really like when you’re living in the hood/Just because my pants are sagging doesn’t mean I’m up to no good/You should try to get to know me; I really wish you would… If you don’t judge my do-rag, I won’t judge your red flag.”
“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,” says Paisley. “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.’ It’s not.”
Fellow country music recording artist, Beau Davidson, although not so enraged as other fans, still thinks the song doesn’t accomplish what it set out to.
“In spite of good intentions, the song doesn’t accomplish artistically or musically what it attempts to spiritually,” he said. “I don’t know if we should expect the next Lil Wayne album to feature Alan Jackson, but this is a slippery slope. I don’t think is going to impress either Brad’s country fans or LL’s rap fans. And it’s just as unlikely to make either artist’s fans start buying each other’s. The feelings, although palpable, come across a little forced.”
But Brad isn’t letting the controversy get to him.
“I wrote a bunch of songs that aren’t comfortable,” he told Billboard. “And that was the point, really-for them to be vocally, musically, lyrically, thematically uncomfortable-or at least new enough to me that I think I had to stretch.”
Brad tweeted Tuesday morning:
“‘Cause I wouldn’t change a thing. This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya’ll. love- brad.”