4.11.2013

When Duets Go Horribly Wrong

LL Cool J (l) and Brad Paisley (r)
Country music singer Brad Paisley and rap star LL Cool J's collaboration on "Accidental Racist" is supposed to be a song that puts us on the path to racial understanding, but comes across more like a ballad of white privilege gone wild.

And um...the last time I checked, there's nothing "accidental" about being a racist.  It's a choice.  An ugly, hateful, disgusting choice.

I'm surprised that LL Cool J signed on to do this. I think the title of the song alone would've sent him running as far and fast as his legs could carry him.  I guess it all probably sounded really good in theory, but the end product leaves a lot to be desired.  The lyrics are cringe-worthy, the music is nothing to write home about, and their interpretation of healing the racial divide is about as deep as a crack in the sidewalk.

Not surprisingly, there was a much-deserved backlash to the song, and the video has since been removed from YouTube.  Fortunately, This Week in Blackness played nearly the entire song through until the host got distracted by LL's jaw-dropping lyrics toward the end (and not in a good way), so I got to hear nearly every excruciating word with my own two ears.

Even if you don't like country music, you should give it a quick listen and judge for yourselves.  It's one of those things that you almost need to hear to believe.  If nothing else, the experience will be...interesting. 

(Listen to the song here at the 01:09 mark, which is a little more than halfway through).
 
Songwriters: Smith, James Todd / Paisley, Brad / Miller, Lee Thomas
 
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 the mistakes
That a bunch of folks made long before we came
And caught between southern pride and southern blame

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

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
WTF?!?! Brad Paisley's parts don't surprise me.  Not really.  But LL's parts have my eyebrows lodged firmly on my forehead. I mean, "If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains." Really? Really?!

I just can't.  I really, really can't.

(photo source)

18 comments:

  1. Neither can I. I'll pass on the assault on my ears.

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  2. I refuse to listen to the song.

    And once again, Black mainstream rappers are giving us a collective migraine. First Rick date-rape-doesn't-count Ross and now LL-in-Chains. WTF?

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    Replies
    1. Oh you left out Tyrese telling people its their fault for being fat and nasty or the rapper who said only light skinned women should wear red lipstick. Its the year of the WTF!!!!

      Delete
    2. Kid Fury said 2013 was fucked the moment he found out Kim Kartrashian was pregnant by Kanye I've-been-lost-without-my-mama West.

      The boy ain't never lied.

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    3. Hahahahahahahahahah - I just remembered that!

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    4. Don't forget about Rick Ross and his idiotic rap.

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    5. Oops !you got him on here. I really need a rest

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    6. You know I'm glad K. West got her pregnant. Yup I said it. I would hate the fact some black woman was tied for the rest of her life to the dimwit. Sorry guys I cannot stand him. And the fact he uses his mother as an excuse for his stupidity. Not impressed.

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    7. I can't stand him either, Lor. But I do believe he's been completely lost without Donda.

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    8. I think she could have guided him away from some of the crap he has done. At least I hope she could have. To be honest I didn't like him before her death.

      Delete
  3. Add Meeks Mill on that list for defending Ricks lyrics .

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  4. So on the Chinese calendar this is the year of the idiot......

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  5. Really though? Smmfh. Now white whine has an anthem. Because a Starbucks employee is wrong for hating a flag that insults his people but this fool should be given a pass because he's too ignorant to understand history?

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that basically sums up the entire song and a lot of collective thought. I'm going to go off on a tangent and say that I actually saw a black guy wearing a camouflage hat with the confederate flag on it. ?!? He had the nerve to say that it doesn't mean what everybody else thinks it means and he had just as much right to sport his confederate pride (his actual words)like everybody else. I just had to walk away after that.

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    2. Some blogger cracked up over the fact that Paisley isn't even Southern. He's from friggin' West Virginia, like me. WV, for those of you who don't know, seceded from Virginia because Virginia wouldn't abolish slavery. WV is also home to Harpers Ferry, where he tried raid for weapons.

      And yet's here fucking Brad, generations later, trying to defend the Confederate flag.

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    3. where he tried raid for weapons.

      John Brown?

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    4. @Ankh

      Why am I not surprised? He needs to have a whole stadium full of seats. Sheesh.

      Delete
    5. @ Lesa

      Yeah. John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry? He wanted to arm blacks and trigger a massive slave revolt. His attempt at the raid and subsequent execution triggered the Civil War...regardless of what most white "historians" will try to tell you.

      Delete

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