Maybe LL should stick with NCIS: Los Angeles.
Today we had the displeasure of being introduced to the “Accidental Racist,” a crossover song by country music’s Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J. The song, available here, has lines like “RIP Robert E. Lee” and “If you don’t judge my do-rag, I won’t judge your red flag.” As I said to my colleague earlier today, it’s the worst thing since green Jell-O.
The Internet spent most of the day putting LL Cool J on the trending list, sharing their thoughts about the song. Most of them are a little something like this.
Seriously, just click on “LL Cool J” and laugh along with the hate that’s being hurled at this terrible song. (Mashable has got a few too.)
Brad Paisley explained the reasoning behind the song to Entertainment Weekly. He says, in part, “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. I’m doing it because it just feels more relevant than it even did a few years ago. I think that we’re going through an adolescence in America when it comes to race.”
LL, meanwhile, spoke with a reporter from The Grantland, Rembert Browne, back during SXSW. Browne says he never did anything with the interview, but with the release of this song, he decided to release a few bits. Among them, LL said at the time, with reference to whether he wanted to work with other artists but pull them out of their comfort zone, “Absolutely. I did that. You know what, it’s just coming from the heart. And with no fear. And being courageous.”
So, as Grantland says, the song has good intentions, but fails pretty badly. Interesting, LL Cool J is trending on Twitter, but Brad Paisley isn’t. Are you still an LL fan.
Update: We took a quick look around this morning and it appears the song has been pulled from YouTube and other parts of the Internet, though we did find it and embed it below, ICYMI.
Brad Paisley is sticking to his guns despite the online backlash. He posted three tweets this morning, one of which reads, “‘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”
His also used his Twitter feed to re-tweet a number of positive messages that he received about the song. And he included a link to a story in USA Today, published this morning, that discusses his career. I know I was unfamiliar with much of his career to this point, but it turns out that making songs that tackle tough topics with a country music twang is his thing.
“I’m not proud that people’s ancestors were beaten and held in ,” Paisley says in the article. “But I am sure as heck proud of the farm I live on and the Confederate soldier buried there. I don’t know whether we reached an answer, but it’s real interesting to hear LL say, let’s let bygones be bygones and the past is the past.”