I have not said anything publicly about “Accidental Racist,” the song that teamed Brad Paisley and LL Cool J for what may be the worst duet in the history of music kind. I know it’s unlike me, as I am often in the middle of any topic where race and pop culture intersect. But I honestly was rendered speechless, or perhaps postless, by this song…which has since been yanked from YouTube but is still stinking up the place on Spotify.
Instead of going full Easter ham, like Toure justifiably did, I decided to mull this situation in silence.
I really wanted to try and understand how this blazing hot mess came to be. It took a bit, but to be honest with you, I still can’t figure it out. And now I’m even more confused now that the mocked musical stars have decided to defend their unwise actions.
What in the seven hells (Game of Thrones reference, yes) persuaded Brad Paisley to turn a real (or imagined) incident of him catching flak for rocking the rebel flag into an over-earnest (and uninformed) exploration of race in America?
What prompted the country singer to turn, not to a rapper capable of such nuance, but to LL Cool J…who is best known for licking his juicy lips, coming up with new names for the female anatomy (pink cookies) and, in one case, leaving his “draws” in another man’s hamper… I mean, I’m not against LL on any day… I absolutely loved “Mama Said Knock You Out,” “Jingling Baby,” and “Imagine That,” but really, Brad, really? You couldn’t e-mail, text, Tweet, Facebook message or just put out a public plea for the help of Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Yasiin Bey, hell…Kanye freaking West on Twitter to see if they were free first? Where was Nas for Chrissakes? Or damn, Black Thought was out of town at the time of taping?
Unless he truly didn’t want his Tea Partier’s lament challenged, the choice just did not and does not make sense. Even if Brad thought LL could deliver in theory, what then is his excuse once he got a whiff of what James Todd Smith was cooking? Who, on earth, thought any good could come from this idiotic line from Cool James?
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.
Say what? So, LL wants us to know that he essentially feels for the slave masters on their desire to get paid, but you just regret that it had to be at the expense of millions of Black lives and the destabilization of an entire culture? **bats eyes hard** Say whaaaaat? Have either of these fools ever turned a single page in a history book or did they just glean all they needed to know about race relations from a midnight screening of “Django Unchained” with a chaser of “Birth of a Nation?”
And not to let Brad slip by like he’s only at fault for finding the worst possible MC on the planet to present the (ahem) Black side of the misunderstandings in post-racial America. He ought to have a guitar broken over his head by Uncle Pecos for basically personifying the “hapless White man” who can’t help his privilege.
Welp, he didn’t personally enslave anyone so why should he still have to be sorry about it all these years later? And Gawd forbid he look through history books and figure out why wearing the Confederate flag as a fashion statement might offend folks. So, if he opted to go get a swastika sweatshirt, folks should forgive him if he says it’s because he’s a fan of Sid Vicious?
And this hogwash about not being able to rewrite history…Oh, for sure. Believe me, I don’t know too many brown folk waiting on their reparations in addition to their IRS refund, but it might help a bit if …oh…I don’t know… if we in this society could own the privilege we have, work hard to make sure the future yields a level playing field and not consider being cognizant of other people’s struggles to be “walking on eggshells.” I would not have believed this line if I hadn’t heard it whine right through my headphones via Spotify.
Our generation didn’t start this nation
We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday
And caught between southern pride and southern blame
But the worst lines remain the notion of LL Cool J letting “bygones be bygones” as it pertains to racism and saying he will “forget” the iron chains.
I know we’ve all heard this. Just take a moment to let it sink again. LL is willing to let it go. Well. Good. For. Him.
I cannot for the life of me figure out how this made it past teams of audio engineers, agents, publicists, and just human beings with ears. Nevertheless, no matter how it occurred, I SHALL NOT with LL Cool J and Brad Paisley right now and for the forseeable future. I think they might be slowly understanding where they went wrong, despite this defiant interview. But we obviously need to put our foot down hard on this, pop culture clan. Don’t let this be forgotten, like reggaeton and Milli Vanilli.
Because God forbid….these two clueless clods go somewhere and make a video when the heat dies down. I swear for Gawd there will be blood if I see a still from that set.
Your turn: What do you think of the “Accidental Racist?” Is the outrage, which has resulted in it being pulled from YouTube, making it harder for us to discuss race or do you think this opened much-needed dialogue. (Hell, I’m trying to extract some positive from this situation.)
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