This CD cover image released by Sony Nashville/Arista shows “Wheelhouse

Paisley, LL Cool J stir up controversy

Brad Paisley’s collaboration with LL Cool J on Accidental Racist has accidentally kicked up some controversy. The song about racial perception has drawn ire from both the country and urban music worlds after its wide release.

NASHVILLE — Brad Paisley’s collaboration with LL Cool J on Accidental Racist has accidentally kicked up some controversy.

The song about racial perception has drawn ire from both the country and urban music worlds after its wide release.

Paisley’s publicist says he isn’t giving interviews about the song. But the country star known for the white cowboy hat and virtuoso guitar work briefly addressed the debate Monday night on Twitter when he reposted a radio host’s blog entry on the song he felt was thought-provoking.

“Cool,” Paisley wrote. “It’s fun to get ya’ll’s take on this. Bring it.”

The song appears on Paisley’s new self-produced album Wheelhouse, released Tuesday. It’s his most ambitious album so far and the progressive message of Accidental Racist is in line with opinions the 40-year-old West Virginia-born singer has expressed before in interviews and songs.

Of the album, Paisley wrote, “I hope it triggers emotions,” and says he wouldn’t change a thing about it: “This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya’ll.”

At its heart, Accidental Racist is about how cultural symbols favoured by whites and blacks — the fashion choice of wearing Confederate flags or baggy pants, for instance — come loaded with meaning.

It’s not a new discussion. Though race relations have evolved over the decades, cultural symbols continue to colour perceptions.

Paisley uses the Confederate flag as an example in the song, noting whites are “caught between Southern pride and Southern blame” 150 years after the end of the Civil War.

“I try to put myself in your shoes and that’s a good place to begin,” Paisley sings, “but it ain’t like I can walk a mile in someone else’s skin/Because I’m a white man livin’ in the southland/Just like you I’m more than what it seems/I’m proud of where I’m from/But not everything we’ve done/It ain’t like you and me can rewrite history/Our generation didn’t start this nation/We’re still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made long before we came.”

LL Cool J’s publicist did not immediately respond to messages. The 45-year-old, who elevated himself from a teen rap sensation on the streets of Queens to an American cultural icon as an actor and personality, provides the response to Paisley’s meditations.

He kicks off his portion of the song “Dear, Mr. White Man, I wish you understood what the world was really like living in the hood.” Later in the song he raps, “I guess we’re both guilty of judging a 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.”

Later he and Paisley enter a call and response portion of the song where LL Cool J raps in part: “If you don’t judge my ’do rag, I won’t judge your red flag. … If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains … Can’t rewrite history, baby … let bygones be bygones … Rest in peace, Robert E. Lee, I got to thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me … .”

Online:

http://bradpaisley.com

Just Posted

Shale oil producer seeking long-term river water supply

A company behind what is billed as Canada’s first commercial shale oil… Continue reading

Red Deer’s crisis line workers are busy dealing with multiple emergencies

Callers need everything from mental health counselling to their basic needs met

Pleaded guilty: Ex-Red Deer teacher gets 3 years for sex offences against kids

SASKATOON — A former Saskatoon teacher who admitted to sexual offences involving… Continue reading

Rental market picking up in Red Deer

There are fewer “for rent” signs in Red Deer than there have… Continue reading

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

CALGARY — The Alberta government is providing a $440 million loan guarantee… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Backlund scores OT winner for Calgary Flames in 3-2 win over Carolina Hurricanes

Flames 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT) CALGARY — Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds… Continue reading

Glendening’s two-goal performance leads Red Wings past Oilers 3-2

Red Wings 3, Oilers 2 EDMONTON — Luke Glendening had a pair… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

OTTAWA — The Canada Food Guide’s familiar food rainbow has been replaced… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Most Read