April 9th, 2013
11:18 AM ET

LL Cool J's proud of 'Accidental Racist'

LL Cool J's collaboration with Brad Paisley, "Accidental Racist," has kicked up a lot of dust, but the rapper seems to have expected as much.

As he told CNN, the song, which is from Paisley's newly released album "Wheelhouse," is a "bold statement" not just for country music, but for music in general.

LL joined the country star in offering what they bill as two sides to a story on race relations, prejudice and stereotypes in the U.S. Paisley sings from the perspective of "a white man comin’ to you from the Southland," one who would wear a Confederate flag on his shirt to show that he's a "Skynyrd fan."

"They called it Reconstruction, fixed the buildings, dried some tears. We’re still siftin’ through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years," Paisley says in the song. "I try to put myself in your shoes and that’s a good place to begin. But it ain’t like I can walk a mile in someone else’s skin. ... I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done, and it ain’t like you and me can re-write history. Our generation didn’t start this nation, and we’re still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made long before we came."

In his verse, rapper/actor LL takes the perspective of a "new fangled Django, dodgin’ invisible white hoods."

"Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood what the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the hood," LL rhymes in the song. "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 - I wasn’t there when Sherman’s March turned the south into firewood. I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could ... So when I see that white cowboy hat, I’m thinkin’ it’s not all good."

He concludes his verse with a peace offering, rapping, "I guess we’re both guilty of judgin’ the cover not the book. 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's reps haven't responded to CNN's request for comment, but they did confirm that "Accidental Racist" was written by the country singer, along with LL Cool J and Lee Thomas Miller.

When CNN caught up with LL at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas,  he said he felt the song accomplished what art is supposed to be.

"Music is about, and art is about, connecting different people, and building bridges and breaking the rules," he said. "If it's not compelling, and it's not complex and it's not interesting, then what are we doing it for? So I think that's the right move."

Plus, he concluded, he wanted to do something that was a little different from what he usually offers.

"I needed to do something that was going to be interesting like that, and shake things up, and jump out of the box," he told CNN. "I'm really proud of it, and I hope the world hears it and enjoys it."


soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. GO HANDLE THAT MESS YOU HAVE THERE NOT THIS SIDE...THIS SIDE IS NOT A PATHO LIAR...I TOLD YOU 1 BILLION TIMES---THE ISSUES ARE THERE NOT HERE...

    -

    July 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ONE MORE TIME...SHE AND DEBORING HACKED INTO LAST YEARS WEBSITE----NO STFU AND GO HANDLE THAT MENTAL MESS.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MARINA -- I'M NOT A LIAR -- COME BACK TOO BY TEXT...WAITING

    July 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CRAIG

    LL COOL J DO WHATEVER YOU LIKE,YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER TO NOBODY.YOU ARE THE BADDEST MAN ALIVE PERIOD.KEEP DOING YOUR THANG.YOU RULE LIKE YOU ALWAYS HAVE .REAL TALK.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PO K?

    GIVE HER THE COMPUTER BILLS....THANKS

    April 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SHE HACKED INTO THE TAX WEBSITE..END OF STORY...GET LOST YOUR FAT LOSER CRIMINAL

      -

      July 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ian Monam

    I suspect the world as a whole won't hear it. Some people don't like either country music or hip hop. Some just don't like music, some prefer other genres, and some who like country and some who like hip hop will, but who don't like the other, will not bother to listen. I fall into one of these groups and have no desire to hear it. Cross marketing in the music industry has been a trend for quite a while now. It makes good business sense, but I doubt it will be terribly effect. Often people gravitate to a genre because it helps them to feel as if they belong to a particular culture and they find security in the culture they share with their group.

    April 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John Price

    great message, great artists (both of them) EXCELELNT song and lyrics, a needed message, and the rest of you critics and naysayers are like ostriches with your heads in the sand (or where the sun don't shine). The controversy will only help them sell more albums, and I think that's a great thing, as Brad and LL Cool J rock!

    April 11, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    What Brad/LL Cool J have done in Accidental Racist is a great start to something that really needs to happen. We often live too much in the past and by doing so we are not allowed to move on. We teach our children how to hate or dislike a certain group of people and we should let them grow up seeing people for who they are, playmates, friends, neighbors, and blank slates waiting to write their own history. My hat is off to Brad and LL Cool J, they truly out did themselves. Thank you for taking the first step in a direction which is long overdue, Seeing people for who they are and not for what our forefathers both did and endured. Of course we should never forget our past and it is important to let it guide us in the right direction. Our county is filled with great people and if we were all blind, we would see it every day.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CANT DANCE, SING, CAN ONLY RIG

    YOU TREAT PEOPLE LIKE SH!T....PAY THE CONSEQUENCES IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS.

    April 10, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tom Bergeron

    Perhaps one of the worst songs in history!

    April 10, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Smack-it-up-Flip-it-Rub-it-Down

    I'm Going Back to Cali, to find me An Around the Way Girl, because they're Jiggling Baby, Go Ahead Baby!!!! Dam, I Need Love......

    April 10, 2013 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. DFWDelia

    I think the most racism is against Hispanic people. That's why there are so many laws trying to keep us from voting.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ann

    Dumb lyrics. Dumb song. Miserable performance.

    April 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. What does LL

    Cool J know about living in the hood anyway? And it's just a flag.

    April 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. He's...

    the only one, because that song is terrible.

    April 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ann

    I really don't care for this songs content.

    April 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Truth Ruth

    I think they just look right together. Did you know in some states they could get married? It's just so romantic.

    April 9, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  18. Truth Ruth

    These two seem like such an adorable couple. Just look at their smiles. I hope they get married soon.

    April 9, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  19. Guy

    How can you not appreciate the song for the message. This is really a great attempt at race conversation. With everything so PC you aren't even aloud to talk about race. That is doing more harm!

    April 9, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  20. Mad...

    granola helps people poop

    April 9, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  21. Need Help Studying later

    -

    April 9, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  22. Turds

    did we get the mail yet?

    April 9, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  23. tripleseq

    LOL, Accidental piece of crap...

    April 9, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Panthro

      Here are two arrogant, egomaniac, dum_ a$$ performers that think they can turn racism around in this country. Your head must be really big if you think that just because of your name, you can make a difference on this subject matter. Racism goes both ways, especially now that we have the Jay -Zs of the world flaunting what they have. Crimes were commited back in the day, but none of you young blacks went through it so let it go. None of you young white folks did it so stop apologizing. Racism is here and it's here to stay, I don't care what anybody thinks. If I don't like you for whatever reason, that's my right. Face it people, these two hypocrites thought they were gonna make a lot of dough with this ridiculous song. LOL

      April 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Margaret

    agreed.

    April 9, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  25. Big Shiz

    Good massage,horrible song.

    April 9, 2013 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |

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