Brad Paisley defends 'Accidental Racist' duet with LL Cool J

Ed Rode/AP

Country singer Brad Paisley has a little explaining to do about his latest single “Accidental Racist.”

Luckily, when the editors over at Entertainment Weekly received an advance copy of Paisley’s single some weeks ago they saw the writing on the wall, or perhaps they foresaw the writing on the Facebook walls and Twitter pages, almost all of which has panned the single since it was released Monday.

“We knew it was destined to cause a ruckus,” writes Entertainment Weekly‘s Grady Smith. That prediction turned our to be correct. To sum up the discussion so far, here’s a tweet from producer @nicolaymusic: “‘Accidental Racist is a great song!’ – nobody ever.”

As a preemptive move, Entertainment Weekly asked Paisley to explain his strange duet with LL Cool J that contains a call-and-answer between the country star and the rapper with the lyrics: “If you don’t judge my do-rag… I won’t judge your red flag” and “If you don’t judge my gold chains… I’ll forget the iron chains.”

So, in his own words, Paisley explains that the song — about a white man in the South struggling with race relations while wearing his confederate flag T-shirt — “comes from an honest place in both cases, and that’s why it’s on there and why I’m so proud of it. This isn’t a stunt.”

Paisley continues:

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. You know, it’s like we’re almost grown up. You have these little moments as a country where it’s like, ‘Wow things are getting better.’ And then you have one where it’s like, ‘Wow, no they’re not…

There are two little channels in each chorus that really steal the pie. One of them is, ‘We’re still picking up the pieces, walking on eggshells, fighting over yesterday,’ and the other is, ‘Paying for the mistakes that a lot of folks made long before we came.’ We’re all left holding the bag here, left with the burden of these generations. And I think the younger generations are really kind of looking for ways out of this.

You can read Paisley’s whole explanation here. The song and its lyrics are posted on his website.

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