LL Cool J on ‘Accidental Racist’ Controversy: ‘The Song Has Done Its Job’
While people are in an uproar over 'Accidental Racist,' which is country superstar Brad Paisley's song featuring LL Cool J, the rapper feels that the art has done its job, since it has sparked conversation.
LL hit 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno' this week to defend his participation in the song, which has ruffled plenty of feathers since the lyrics seemed to make light of slavery-related crimes while attempting to provoke an understanding. Both artists have discussed the controversy in the media, but LL summed it up in the most succinct and smart fashion on 'Leno.'
While at first he said, "I feel good," when asked about how he is dealing with the drama that has ensued, he admitted, "The song wasn't perfect but you can't fit 300 or 400 years of history into a 3-minute song."
"I'm pleased that the dialogue is happening," the rap legend said. "As long as people are having conversation, then the song has done its job."
He also stated he cant "defend the song" but said that he can "clarify my intentions."
"There is a lyric in the song where I say, 'If you don't judge my do-rag, I won't judge your red flag.' I, in no way, would compare the history of the Confederate flag -- you think about 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 would never, ever, ever suggest to anyone that we should forget slavery and act like that didn't happen."
He continued, "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."
The rapper clarified that he is not demonizing clothing or saying to forget slavery. "If a guy like Brad Paisley and LL Cool J can come together and have a conversation, then that can happen in D.C. That can happen in other parts of the world," he declared.
His points are well-made and well-taken. In the end, their intent may have been good --and we all know what road good intentions can lead to-- but the execution wasn't fully effective.
It's also worth a mention that all this publicity is certainly drumming up attention for Mr. Smith's new album 'Authentic,' out April 30, albeit unintentionally.
Listen to Brad Paisley's 'Accidental Racist' Feat. LL Cool J