Back in April, award-winning country music recording artist Brad Paisley released a little ditty off his ninth studio album, Wheelhouse, entitled, "Accidental Racist".
If you haven't heard the song, you'll be surprised to learn that it's accidentally racist. The song is about a black Starbucks barista and a guy in a Confederate flag T-shirt talking out their differences. "Accidental Racist" features a verse of doo-doo rhymes from LL Cool J and pretty much trvializes all attempts to actually have a legitimate discussion about racial tension in America.
Recently, New York magazine's Jody Rosen had the opportunity to speak with Paisley about the song, its intended message, and the backlash he experienced once the Internet got a hold of it and went, "nope."
Let’s talk about the response to “Accidental Racist.” Did it take you by surprise? Did you expect that the song would generate the kind of controversy that it did?
The whole thing took me by surprise in this sense: This was a deep album cut on a country record. I didn’t know it was possible for an album cut to make the news, let alone to be headline news. It’s ironic because my publicist had reached out to NPR and said, “Brad has cut an album that takes a lot of risks and asks some really tough questions. Would you like an interview?” And they didn’t want one. Then, all of a sudden, I’m driving to go play Leno, listening to NPR. And they’re devoting Talk of the Nation to this subject, on the album release day.