ll-cool-j

The ongoing conversation about race now has a soundtrack thanks to LL Cool J and country singer Brad Paisley. The two collaborate on the new track “Accidental Racist,” from Paisley’s ninth studio album Wheelhouse.

The song has been described as cringe-worthy by some and offensive by others, with a chorus that reads:

I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the south land tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be. 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 pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday. Caught between southern pride and southern blame.

LL Cool J says the following on his featured verse:

“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.”

Though critics claim it’s a publicity stunt at best and an ignorant attempt at addressing race at worst, Paisley maintains that his intentions are good.

He told Entertainment Weekly:

“I just think art has a responsibility to lead the way, and I don’t know the answers, but I feel like asking the question is the first step, and we’re asking the question in a big way. How do I show my Southern pride? What is offensive to you? [...] This isn’t a stunt. This isn’t something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that.”

What do you think of the song, Clutchettes?

 

  • Rue

    “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.”

    Of Course, A du-rag was used as a symbol of oppressing whites.And lest we forget, whites were shipped across the Atlantic in sparkly gold chains. Just. Ugh. Please.

    Dear Black celebrities: STFU!

  • kelly

    WTF!!!

  • April

    I am not here for Paisley’s “woe is me, it’s so hard being a white man from the south who wants to show southern pride!” shtick and LL happily drinking down his white tears. Just, no.

    They must’ve been real hard up for attention, this is beyond ridiculous.

  • http://gravatar.com/kem247 F.S.T.C

    No! There are just too many problems from the song, beginning with the title! SMH

  • jenn dunn

    Its a song about people not judging other people based on appearance. What’s wrong with that?

  • http://theunsungstoryteller.tumblr.com TheMuseintheMirror

    “Dear LL Cool J,

    Please take your seat at the far corner of the room next to Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and ASAP Rocky.

    Any African American that is willing to actively participate in coonery and sell their souls to make money can fall off a cliff.”

    — Classmates in Coonery 101.

  • jenn dunn

    I love it its a great song

  • jenn dunn

    Why don’t people just listen to the lyrics of the song

  • Pseudonym

    You mean lyrics such as,

    “If you won’t judge my doo rag, I won’t judge your red flag. If you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains,”

    which basically equates to “Don’t judge my arbitrary urban fashion choices (with no sketchy double-meaning) and I’ll allow you to wear racist paraphernalia b/c you like a certain music group who puts it on their t-shirt?”

    Brad Paisley is rich. He can buy another goddamn t-shirt. It is not that serious. To do anything other than stop wearing Confederate flags is to just not give a damn. Which is fair enough, but spare me the “It’s just Southern pride!” b.s. propaganda and be real about it. You are an insensitive white person. Don’t worry; you are not alone.

    If it was really about Southern pride, they’d just make a new flag. But they don’t. Because it “ain’t.”

  • YouHave2Wonder

    I did. Opinion remains the same.

  • Nadell

    “N**** island is a place where oppression, ignorance and miseducation is celebrated and propagated. Racial self loathing is masked with satire and wit. It’s a place where the exceptional die and mediocrity is contagious. Escape is recommended but highly dangerous.” – Jon Parker
    LL has resurrected Uncle Tom

  • Rue

    I love Cheetos they are a great snack! But that’s neither here nor there.

  • Keshia

    Black celebrities stay on that other other I swear. Millions make them act like coons.

  • Echi

    This man is not terribly bright.

  • jenn dunn

    Love u LL keep your head up baby. I love the song and the message u are trying to spread. Spread the love baby.

  • http://www.nobusinessnoshow.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    Really? So now Uncle L is consigning trivializing slavery for crossover paycheck money? This is straight off the deep end tomfoolery at its finest…

    I just want to know why though?

  • MommieDearest

    LL has had one too many Botox injections. The chemicals have obviously seeped into his brain and clouded his thinking…

  • ngh

    For Pete’s sake, have you read “Uncle Tom”? Heck, have you seen the episode of “The Jeffersons” that talked about it? He was a pretty great person, give the book a try.

    On topic, the song may be a clumsy attempt to some but if it gets people talking, great.

  • moe

    I’ll never understand people trying to justify confederate flags. They are not “a symbol of the south” they are a symbol of slavery. And I’m also sick of these rednecks complaining that they can’t show their “southern pride” because people think its racist. It is racist hun. Southern pride is biscuits,fried foods, and good hospitality.

  • Anthony

    A critic on NPR made a good point in mentioning that LL is no longer a relevant rapper. If Paisley wanted sow current communication, he would have done well to talk to a young, Southern rapper instead of essentially a former rapper from New York who lives in LA.

    Although I do not expect a Southern white guy to be as attuned to black issues as I am, I cannot see what’s so difficult about seeing that some symbols are just offensive and have a ugly history that no amount of “I mean no harm” will erase.

  • dirtychai

    The thirst…

  • Nadell

    Would you prefer the term ‘Magic Negro’, ‘Bojangles’ or ‘Stepin Fetchit’ instead?
    I know you are well aware of Uncle Tom’s symbolism. His purpose is to be a heralded representation for the Black Community. He’s servile, subservient and wise by Negro standards. His chief accomplishment, in many forms, is to push forward the majority’s cultural agenda, while being the appointed individual for African-American society. This is literally what LL has done by association with a song entitled ‘Accidental Racist’! Either if Paisley penned the lyrics himself and designated him to rap or if LL wrote the lyrics gives all the more reason that he is in fact a modern day Uncle Tom.
    To even agree to rap “If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains” is ample proof of the foolery.
    LL has never physically worn IRON CHAINS! These iron chains that were used to dehumanize human beings (in which he is referring to) pales in comparison to the fake gold chains he wore in his “I’m Bad” video!

  • Quelqu’un

    Damn LL…you must’ve been struggling to have signed on for this mess : /

    I know times is hard, brotha, but damn.

  • Marisa

    RIP Robert E Lee? Seriously James Todd Smith whoever wrote that ish need their song writing privileges revoked. I have no issue with rap and country mashup but this mess sounds like an anthem at a Tea Party rally. Doesn’t LL have a long time running show one of them CSI types, no need to get into this foolery. Paisley doesn’t shock me watch he play the role of oblivious white guy when convenient for him, LL should know better based on GP general principle. Those gold chains you wore in your hayday LL were a fashion statement, those iron chains our people wore had not a damn thing to do with fashion. They aren’t one in the same in the slightest that’s like saying hey if you don’t judge our diamond grills we will overlook those ropes around our necks when our people were swinging from trees. Does LL think he can lip lick his way out of this?

  • ngh

    I would rather people not use Uncle Tom as a negative symbol for African Americans. The book helped popularize the abolition movement and the character had integrity. The negative symbolism takes away from that.

    I disagree with the notion that this song pushes a white agenda. I believe the writers are being sincere and attempting to open a dialogue. More time is being spent complaining about the lyrics than speaking about the issues brought forward in the song.

  • i.mean.really.

    That song makes Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ seem like a Grammy gem. Even Lynyrd Skynyrd came out against using the rebel flag in the future because of the obvious racial connotations.

  • Treece

    Ok, this is bullshit. This is yet another attempt to get the enslavement of Blacks banished from the record of White history so White people living today don’t have to feel guilty (and quite a ridiculous one at that). White guilt is not something that can be relieved by trying to distance yourselves from slavery. It’s about admitting it was wrong, not forgetting it, and not being ignorant of the privlilege you are given in this country because you are White. You can’t expect Black people to not be sensitive to race based microaggressions and times when racism isn’t so “micro”. If we ignore it, it will continue and it will get worse. This song is asking that I as a Black woman ignore the fact that you blatantly display a flag that symbolizes the side of the Civil War that wanted to keep slavery alive. Sorry, but no. Can’t do that. You are asking me, Brad Paisley, to not talk about slavery or be angry that it happened, and to just brush it off (or to let White people brush it off) because it happened over a hundred years ago. Can’t do that either. I’m not saying you (Whites) should go around kissing Black ass forever. But, I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to forget that slavery happened, and the aftermath of it. It has been said before and it is so true: If we forget our past, we will be doomed to repeat it. You’ll forget the lessons learned. You’ll forget how people felt and pain that was caused. Generations will never be taught. Not only is this little diddy corny, but it is also just plain ignorant and just a nice way of telling Black people to stop complaining about racism, even though incidences of racism have in fact become more prevalent as of late. It’s ridiculous and LL should be ashamed for participating in this tom-foolery.

    Also, nobody is saying that White people can’t be proud of being southern. But, I will not stand for White people trying to make others “lighten up” regarding slavery and racism. Be proud of who you are. But don’t use that to justify racist imagery and symbolism. Because we have ways of showing our racial pride too, but when we do it (harmlessly I might add) we get accused of being militant and angry. Just from wearing a t-shirt with a red, black, and green depiction of the continent of Africa on it……

  • copelli

    Wow, LL is really ignorant if he thinks slavery is something black people should forget. No other racial group is “asked” to forget their history but black folks! That just goes to show you how misinformed and brainwashed both of them are. Clearly, a revisit to a history class is needed for both of these men.

    People will do anything to get attention to make more money.

  • Coccohanel31

    Outside of the RIP James Robert Lee don’t see the problem.
    Werent they trying to get the other to understand their history/past and why they feel the way they do???

  • Questina

    I cant with “If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains.”

    One of the most stupid lyrics I have ever read.

  • http://www.geekmommarants GeekMommaRants

    Perhaps it is stupid in one sense and putting the past in the past and moving on. This maybe a sign of reconciliation?

  • Marisa

    Another thing is the lyrics Brad had about white people paying for something that happened before they were born bwhahahahahaha. When the hell have white paid for anything they wont even acknowledge the horror that slavery and segregation is. The Germans paid more for the sins of Hitler and the Holocaust than America has ever done for the for what happened to Blacks and the Native Americans. Paid for what please plenty of whites walk around as if racism was no big deal.

    Also the idea that Frick and Frack here are trying to produce reconciliation between whites and blacks good luck. Didn’t Clutch just post about that all white prom and they even turned away a bi-racial student. Look at the openly racist trash spewed at the First Family all the time, just to have basic rights for black people we had to force the white establishment to do so. Any rights gained by blacks such as voting rights, access to public establishments were not granted by the goodness of the white man and women’s heart. Our past has always carried on into the present and even the future that’s something some folks don’t freakin get.

  • The Other Jess

    I agree that LL is reaching with both hands into the coonery cookie jar, but I also agree that “Uncle Tom”, whose real name was Josiah Henson, should not be smeared with negative connotations.

    The real Josiah Henson was not complacent of and accepting of about slavery, was an abolitionist, educator, runaway slave, and opened opportunities for other escaped Black people who had been enslaved. Unfortunately, the depiction in Uncle Tom’s cabin (by a white author) was nothing like the true Henson at all.

    I love LL and hope he sees the error in his ways.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    LL unCool J?

  • Nadell

    I never referred to the man Josiah Henson. I referred to Uncle Tom and the symbolism that is attached to that term. Mr. Henson was an actual individual with a real name – actually Reverend Josiah Henson – an exceptional man. Not some sensationalized, trivialized character in a book to be given the name “Uncle Tom”. As you see Rev. Josiah Henson is rarely, if ever, mentioned in history books but Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’ is the beloved legend.
    Some Americans take issue with a Muslim woman who wears her traditional attire walking down the street with her husband who is wearing a turban and immediately attempt to classify them as terrorists. An attempt to create dialogue — there are sooo many other logical avenues these two could have taken to raise the issue. To justify slavery or the connections to slavery whether it be the confederate flag/the supposed ‘Southern pride’ also gives way to start flying Nazi flags. If Paisley wants to rationalize tradition so can a Nazi.
    They both have accomplished their collective mission — grab the spotlight for personal gain!

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    I have no words for this. Obviously he is not the same LL from around the way.

  • Ms Write

    Dear LL,

    Just retire. Please. I tried to ignore you when you released “Ratchet” last year. This has just got to stop.

  • Pseudonym

    Or LL Coon J. Ladies Loath him.

  • http://twitter.com/EboniBoykin ebi (@EboniBoykin)

    ll cool j lost his damn mind.

    of course he can say he will “forget” those chains but the ancestors who were wearing them and living through that didn’t have the luxury. Absolutely disgusted.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    Exactly. It’s easy for him to forget something he’s never experienced in the first place. And shameful that he wants to forget that our ancestors died so that he can enjoy the freedoms he has today.

  • IntellBlackman

    Just look at him in that pic. All he needs to do is bug out his eyes and he’d be a dead ringer for Stepin Fetchit. Ugggg! Sheer coonery. He disgusts me!!!

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