If you’ve managed to go this entire week without subjecting your ears to the Brad Paisley/LL Cool J duet “Accidental Racist,” congratulations. Do not go seeking this song, which is offensive on many different levels but first and foremost, sonically. Like, it’s just a hard song to listen to, with the genres of rap and country blending as seamlessly together as an Uncle Kracker video. And that’s without even delving into the meaning of the song, which might have been trying for some meta-commentary on accidental racism by being the most racist song two people with good intentions could accidentally (on purpose?) make. Like, any song that references “a new fangled Django” is probably not going to be great, but the part where LL raps “If you don’t judge my gold chains/I’ll forget the iron chains” is so cringe-worthy it feels like watching Marnie tank Kanye West’s “Stronger” in front of Charlie’s new co-workers all over again! Possibly worse! (Definitely worse.)
So if you haven’t listened to it, don’t and just trust us that “Accidental Racist” is really, really bad… the kind of awful that can’t be fixed by going on Leno and talking coherently about why you agreed to do the song in the first place.
Here’s how LL defends his decision to sing those terrible lyrics:
I in no way would compare the history of the Confederate flag—the rapes, the tortures, the murders, the lynching, all the things associated with the Confederate flag—with a do-rag. However, when you think about a kid like Trayvon Martin, when you think about some of the things that happen in society based on clothing, when you put it in its proper context, it makes sense…I understand the systemic racism that exists. I get that. But you know what? If the playing field is un-level, if you feel it is unfair, then maybe putting down some of that baggage will help you make it up that hill a little easier.
It’s actually easier to listen to LL Cool J try to defend the song than listen to the song itself, if that makes any sense.