Dear LL Cool J, ‘Accidental Racist’ is an Accidental Failure
LL Cool J and Brad Paisley set the web ablaze yesterday when they released their new collabo song ‘Accidental Racist.’ The controversy and backlash was well-deserved too. I don’t listen to Brad’s music, and hell, I haven’t listened to LL’s for YEARS either. But I need to have some words with the Brother Man, not the Other Man, so LL has earned this week’s sternly-worded letter.
Dear LL Cool J,
Hey Cool James, hey. So you decided to do a duet with a country singer, and that’s fine. Cross-genrefication (I know I made that up) is great sometimes, allowing you to exchange audiences and tap into some new lane. However, THIS collaboration is a fail.
First of all, any song is called “Accidental Racist” is begging for attention, regardless of quality. But then when you add the fact that this one just feels like it lacked a lot of thought, you have a clusterf*ck on your hands.
Brad is talmbout he’s caught between “caught between Southern pride and Southern blame.” Chile, ok. (-__-). And your debut into the song came with the following lyrics:
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
LL, I see you’re outchea tryna speak to EVERYWHITEMAN for the urban youths of America, whose pants hang low. And to show you’re totally hip (O_O) and with the times, you throw in a Django reference. AW LL, YOU’RE SO COOL! (-__-)
When you penned these lyrics, did you pat yourself on the intellectual content? Were you like “HELL YEAH FUGGING RIGHT! I’ma have white folks everywhere really thinking about race relations?” This simple ass verse threw in so many clichés in so few lines that you should get an invoice from Stereotype Inc. Gold chains, du-rags, white hoods, cowboy hats some firewood and a march. YES CIVIL RIGHTS!
Besides the fact that the content of this is so damb basic that I feel personally affronted about it, one can’t help but notice that you are still a firm member of “songs and poetry must rhyme” movement. And all these lyrics say to me is that you lost creativity when you lost cool, rhyming “hood” with “good” twice. Bless your heart.
By the way, your name should now just be LL WOMP J because you ain’t been cool since at least the 1990s. But I’ma leave that alone because that’s just me being petty (and truthful).
And then, him and Brad follow it up with a verse where they talk to each other to settle their differences. LL’s lines are in the parenthesis.
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)
*facepalm* Wait. WAYMENT. Sir. What is this?
Brad reminds us that he’s just a white man who is a victim of the terrible history his ancestors helped make terrible. While you, LL, tell him you’re not gonna judge him if he doesn’t judge your du-rag. Well, at 46 years old, I’m hoping your grown self isn’t going out in public in du-rags. But I get it, you’re talking for all the black folks who do. Because you know, du-rags are the symbol for urban youths. (-______-)
And then you tell Brad you won’t judge him for his red flag. PAUSE.
A du-rag is a far cry from a Confederate flag, which is a symbol of the ultra-racist south. You know the one where Black folks were being branded like they were animals? And being sold like cattle? Yes. That one. And you’re fixing your mouth to say you won’t judge him for his red flag. IS YOU STOOPID OR JUST DUMB? In my opinion, he (and anyone else) who is flying that flag in 2013 is placing an implicit (and maybe even explicit) stamp of approval on that injustice and I AM NOT HERE FOR IT.
AND THEN… AND… GAHTDAMB… THEN! You’re talmbout you’ll “forget the iron chains.” You mean the ones that bound us together across the oceans and changed Africans metaphysically into Black people who lost their original homes, languages and culture and had to rebuild one here for themselves?
YOU’LL FORGET THOSE CHAINS??? For what?? To make Brad an’ ’em feel better? As long as they forgive your du-rag and sagging pants, which must signify menace, you’ll FORGET the history. Since it cannot be re-written. Because you know, forgetting 400 years of history is the key to moving forward to fixing what’s been broken into mosaic tiles.
The song quickly went from some simple boolsheet to some boolsheet that lacked any forethought, hindsight and present thought. It went from eye-rolling worthy to requesting that you might go have a seat in a chair in front of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. \__ It’s kinda accidentally racist.
It might have had good intentions of bridging the gap between white folks and black folks and race relations but the message was terrible and poorly articulated. Also, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
LL, I need you to go re-assess your lifespace and figure out what you REALLY accomplished with this song. It feels and sounds like a stunt so you got the attention you wanted there.
But you’ll probably say it’s not a stunt. And I think I WANT it to be a stunt so I won’t have to believe that YOU actually believe the words in this song.
I’m embarrassed for you, LL. And for Brad, who is clearly white privilege epitomized and shows it all up and down this song. My shame for you comes with the fact that you used to be a respected voice in Hip Hop and music. Now you’re over the hill, and folks are over your music and you should go sit down over there.
And the fact that you ended the song with:
“The past is the past / let bygones be bygones /RIP Robert E. Lee but I’ve gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean”
Uncle Ruckus. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE ABOUT?!?
This song is accidentally racist and a complete fail.
Bye, LL. BYE!!!
Did y’all listen to the song? Whatcha think?
P.S. the song itself keeps getting yanked off YouTube. Here’s a working link (as of 12:32 pm CST).
P.P.S. You gotta read this AWESOME piece on XOJane called Everything that Is Wrong With That Brad Paisley/LL Cool J ‘Accidental Racist’ Song: A Mostly Complete List. It’s everything.