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Paisley sticks to his guns on "Accidental Racist"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – Brad Paisley is sticking to his guns, tweeting in support of his new disc, "Wheelhouse," and its controversial track, Accidential Racist. Paisley said he "wouldn't change a thing."

The song, written with LL Cool J and Lee Thomas Miller, examines racial issues with Paisley and LL Cool J singing on the track. At the outset of the song, a man walks into a Starbucks wearing a Confederate flag t-shirt, but saying he's "Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms."

LL Cool J later gives the black person's perspective on being mistaken: "
Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good/You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would /Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood."

The song has been the subject of critics, who say the song makes the racial issue too simple and doesn't particularly provide any answers. One writer labeled the song the worst of all time.

Paisley responded to critics in three Tweets posted at about 2 a.m. today.

"So, as you buy this album, I hope it triggers emotions. I hope you feel joy,heartache,triumph,surprise; you laugh,cry,nudge someone beside you"

"...I hope the album rocks you,soothes you,raises questions,answers,evokes feelings, all the way through until Officially Alive"

"'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"

Song lyrics are:

To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I'm a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms
Lookin' like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view
I'm just a white man comin' to you from the southland
Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be
I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done
And it ain't like you and me can re-write history
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
They called it Reconstruction, fixed the buildings, dried some tears
We're still siftin' through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years
I try to put myself in your shoes and that's a good place to begin
But it ain't like I can walk a mile in someone else's skin
'Cause I'm a white man livin' in the southland
Just like you I'm more than what you see
I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done
And it ain't like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn't start this nation
And we're still paying for mistakes
That a bunch of folks made long before we came
And caught between southern pride and southern blame

LL Cool J's lines:
Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood
What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood
Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood
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
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good
I guess we're both guilty of judgin' 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

Paisley and LL Cool J: trade these lines
I'm just a white man
(If you don't judge my do-rag)
Comin' to you from the southland
(I won't judge your red flag)
Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be
I'm proud of where I'm from
(If you don't judge my gold chains)
But not everything we've done
(I'll forget the iron chains)
it ain't like you and me can re-write history
(Can't re-write history baby)

Oh, Dixieland
(The relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin')
I hope you understand what this is all about
(Quite frankly I'm a black Yankee but I've been thinkin' about this lately)
I'm a son of the new south
(The past is the past, you feel me)
And I just want to make things right
(Let bygones be bygones)
Where all that's left is southern pride
(RIP Robert E. Lee but I've gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean)
It's real, it's real
It's truth

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CD reviews for Brad Paisley

Wheelhouse CD review - Wheelhouse
Brad Paisley isn't content to keep doing the same old. In fact, this is probably the least traditional country outing in his career. Yet, a few things remain intact - great guitar playing and singing and a sense of humor without being too kitschy. In fact, Paisley manages to combine the ultra serious with his typical sense of humor. The seriousness is never more apparent from Paisley than on the controversial Accidental Racist with LL Cool J, who helped write and perform it. »»»
Hits Alive CD review - Hits Alive
Brad Paisley's new live hits CD is a bit of a tease. That's because it only goes half way in replicating the true live Paisley experience. Watching the accompanying concert videos at a Paisley show, whether the venue screen is showing Andy Griffith during Waitin' on a Woman or the montage of recently-deceased celebrities that accompanies When I Get Where I'm Going, reveal how Paisley simply must be seen to be fully enjoyed. Nevertheless, Paisley in concert and captured on »»»
American Saturday Night CD review - American Saturday Night
Brad Paisley has grown up on his eighth album. Yes, the West Virginian maintains a sense of humor, but apparently aging has left its mark on a maturing singer who has never forsaken his country roots. That is ever so apparent in songs like Anything Like Me and Oh Yeah, You're Gone. The former finds Paisley looking at the passage of time through his son's life in a tender, but not sappy look. On the latter, he's a five-year-old boy who doesn't get what he wants, which his grandfather notices. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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