Brad Paisley defends 'Accidental Racist' duet with LL Cool J

NEW YORK Tue Apr 9, 2013 4:15pm EDT

Country music singer Brad Paisley performs at the Commander in Chief's Ball during presidential inauguration ceremonies in Washington, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Country music singer Brad Paisley performs at the Commander in Chief's Ball during presidential inauguration ceremonies in Washington, January 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Country singer Brad Paisley on Tuesday defended his new duet with rapper LL Cool J, which has been criticized for its commentary on U.S. race relations.

"Accidental Racist" is a track from Paisley's ninth album, "Wheelhouse," which was released on Tuesday. The song describes a hypothetical encounter between a Confederate flag-wearing white Southern man and an urban African-American man in a coffee shop. Some critics have disparaged the song's content and artistry.

"I wouldn't change a thing," Paisley, one of country music's most popular artists, wrote on Twitter. "This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya'll."

In "Accidental Racist," Paisley sings: "Our generation didn't start this nation, and we're still picking up the pieces, walking on eggshells, fighting over yesterday," referring to post-Civil War race relations. "Caught between Southern pride and Southern blame."

LL Cool J, 45, responds with a rap that includes lyrics such as: "Just because my pants are sagging doesn't mean I'm up to no good. You should try to get to know me," and "I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air, but I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here."

Paisley has said he wanted the song to get people talking.

Several critics have panned it for what they described as a soft, apologetic treatment of lingering racial tension in the United States.

Industry website Billboard.com called "Accidental Racist" a "flat-footed apology for hate-induced uneasiness." The Atlantic magazine said the "assumption that there is no real difference among black people is exactly what racism is."

"Wheelhouse" is expected to land Paisley near the top of the U.S. album charts next week.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Stacey Joyce)

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Comments (3)
tombarnes wrote:
I am soooo sorry, what can we do, as white people, to make up for our existence?
I am always bowled over by the wisdom of Atlantic Magazine.

Apr 09, 2013 4:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MikeHunt01 wrote:
Always the white mans fault. I guess you will write anything to sell that one extra album. How many slave owners are still alive in the good old USA? That’s right, none. No more apologizing for what was done over 150 years ago. Stop it with the white guilt complex, please

Apr 09, 2013 5:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MikeHunt01 wrote:
Great job Reuters. Freedom of speech, right?

Apr 09, 2013 5:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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