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Brad Paisley Comments on ‘Accidental Racist’ Controversy: ‘I Wouldn’t Change a Thing’

Brad Paisley
Steven Lawton, Getty Images

Brad Paisley releases his new album ‘Wheelhouse’ today (April 9), and a track from the record titled ‘Accidental Racist‘ has already been stirring up controversy online. The collaboration with rapper LL Cool J attempts to address the ultra-sensitive topic of race relations, and far from apologizing, Paisley states: “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

The singer’s last album took him out of his own southern comfort zone, and with his new disc he seems determined to force his listeners out of theirs. “This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening,” he posted to Twitter. “But fun. Like Life.”

Paisley adds, “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 this album rocks you, soothes you, raises questions, answers, evokes feelings, all the way through.”

The ‘Accidental Racist’ lyrics are framed as a conversation between a white southerner and a black New Yorker that takes place after Paisley’s character walks into a restaurant wearing a shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag. “Just a proud rebel son with an ol’ can of worms / Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn,” he sings.

LL Cool J replies, “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.”

In an appearance on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ on Tuesday, Paisley further defends the song, saying he’s just trying to encourage people to think about the topic. “I don’t know if any of you noticed, but there is some racial tension, here and there,” he says. “It kind of deals with that and I felt like when we were writing this song it wasn’t necessarily up to the media. I don’t really trust sort of, I guess, Hollywood, or sort of talk radio or anything like that to deal with that. I think it’s music’s turn to have the conversation.”

Paisley furthers that he just hopes fans will give him the benefit of the doubt. “Make your own mind up,” he says. “That’s fine. You can throw things at me.”

Next: Read Our Review of Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse'

Listen to Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s ‘Accidental Racist’

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Watch Brad Paisley Talk About ‘Accidental Racist’ on ‘Ellen’

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