Does your idealistic dream of a post-racial America include Brad Paisley and LL Cool J collaborating on an infectiously terrible country song? Well, you're in luck! A new track called "Accidental Racist," set to appear on Paisley's upcoming album, Wheelhouse, details the internal monologues of (1) a white southern gentleman who casually wears his beloved confederate flag T-shirt to a local Starbucks, and (2) the black guy taking his order behind the counter. Behold:
Yes, this song is a real thing. A few sample lyrics:
"I'm just a white man, coming to you from the south land / trying 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"
"Our generation didn't start this nation / we're still picking up the pieces / walking on eggshells / fighting over yesterday"
But wait. It gets better. Some highlights from LL's verse a few minutes in:
"[I] feel like a newfangled Django dodging invisible white hoods"
"If you don't judge my doo-rag, I won't judge your red flag"
"If you don't judge my gold chains, I'll forget the iron chains"
In a radio interview, Paisley says at first he was hesitant about asking the '90s rapper to appear on the song. Those fears, apparently, were for naught. "I'm in," said Cool J. "This is important."
How are critics reacting? "Holy (expletive)," country music journalist Chris Willman tells The Tennessean. "I think this is pretty radical. He's got cojones." But why would the duo release such a song in the first place? wonders Bobby Finger at The Hairpin. "Whatever the reason, the song itself is a lyrical disgrace filled with awkward non-apologies and faux-pensiveness over the history of racism in the south." Dammit, LL, says Rembert Browne at Grantland. "Did you really have to start off with 'Dear Mr. White Man'? His name is Brad. He's right there. Just call him Brad. You're allowed to. It's 2013." It's cool, you guys, says Aylin Zafar at BuzzFeed. "Brad Paisley and LL Cool J have ended racism."
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