The internet is abuzz over a provocative new track from Brad Paisley and LL Cool J (yes, like Nelly and Tim McGraw before them, they recorded a duet) called Accidental Racist, which appears on Paisley’s ninth studio album Wheelhouse, available tomorrow.
The song covers Paisley’s struggle to deal with race issues as a white man in the South, who feels like people are “walking on eggshells” whenever the subject comes up. The lyrics describe him (or at least the character he’s playing) walking into a coffee shop wearing a shirt that has a confederate flag on it. Paisley sings, “[I'm] just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms/Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn.” LL Cool J eventually answers Paisley’s verse with a rap of his own. “If you don’t judge my do-rag… I won’t judge your red flag,” the recent Grammy host says. “If you don’t judge my gold chains… I’ll forget the iron chains,” he continues.
When the earnestly delivered song floated through the EW office a few weeks ago, we knew it was destined to cause a ruckus. So we asked Paisley to share his motivation for recording Accidental Racist as part of print-edition feature on the stories behind some of his biggest career hits.