Reporting Courtney E. Smith
In an interview with Good Morning America, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J presented a united front in defense of their song “Accidental Racist,” which caused a major uproar in the press on Monday (April 8). ABC characterizes the two as “playing parts” in the song, of a white man and a sympathetic black man.
The duo sincerely spoke about forgiveness and compassion as their motivation for creating the track. LL Cool J even paraphrased a famous Martin Luther King, Jr. quote to support his participation in the collaboration, saying, “Darkness doesn’t drive out darkness, only light can. Hate doesn’t drive out hate, only love can.”
It’s a fair message, but a large leap to take for most considering the Southern flag imagery Paisley and LL address are so strongly associated to a pro-slavery/anti-equal rights point of view, stretching back as recently as the 1960′s. In the interview, LL seemed to forgive the imagery Paisley’s character sings about, saying he sometimes wears a skull and cross bones t-shirt that his wife doesn’t like but it doesn’t make him a pirate.
LL told GMA he is not advising people to truly forget slavery, just the mentality and bitterness, saying, “Don’t get bitter, get better.” He further advised, ”Let’s not be victims of things that happened so long ago anymore.”
LL says he respects people taking exception to some of the lyrics and Paisley agreed. ”Let’s respect it, but after we respect it let’s open our hearts up so we can move forward.”
Paisley recounted that he has no idea of the uproar their song caused in the press on Monday until LL called him up and advised him to check Twitter.
The interview concluded with GMA reporting that there is another collaboration between the two on the way — but this time the subject will be less controversial: love.
LL recently told Radio.com about that second Paisley collaboration, which appears on his upcoming album Authentic, in a lengthy sit-down. “It’s not like I’m trying to do a gimmicky thing,” LL said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh the country meets the rapper and it’s a hoedown!’ It’s none of that.”