The country singer Brad Paisley on Tuesday defended his new song with the rapper L?L Cool J, which has been criticised for its commentary on race relations in the US.
Accidental Racist is a track from Paisley’s ninth album, Wheelhouse. The song describes a hypothetical encounter between a Confederate flag-wearing white Southern man and an urban -African-American in a coffee shop. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” Paisley 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 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 ... conversate and clear the air, but I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn’t here”.
Paisley has said he wants the song to get people talking.
Several critics have panned it for what they described as soft, apologetic treatment of lingering racial tension in the US.
The 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”. – Reuters
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