The Luke Burbank Show - 10am on KIRO Radio
Luke Burbank

Reviewing a controversial Brad Paisley - LL Cool J song

"Accidental Racist," a new Brad Paisley song featuring LL Cool J may seem like an odd combination, but probably no stranger than Aerosmith and Run DMC's "Walk This Way" collaboration 27 years ago.

Besides just sounding awful, KIRO Radio's Luke Burbank is a little disturbed by the song's comparisons: a Confederate flag t-shirt versus a do-rag.

Paisley sings:
To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on
Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say
is I'm a Skynyrd fan.

And later in the song...

LL Cool J sings:
I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here

I'm just a white man
-Paisley (If you don't judge my do-rag) -LL
Comin' to you from the southland -Paisley
(I won't judge your red flag) -LL
Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be
I'm proud of where I'm from -Paisley

Luke thinks it ridiculous the song suggests the two clothing items are somehow equal.

"One is a symbol of something that for a long time represented slavery... The other thing is just a random piece of cloth that has absolutely no controversial nature to it," he said.

Overall, Luke believes the song has a feeling of forgiveness for all the mistakes that were made. But it seems that the mistakes were "mostly made by people who owned other human beings."

(The past is the past, you feel me)
And I just want to make things right
(Let bygones be bygones)

Luke has no plans to buy Paisley's new album "Wheelhouse," but will give him credit for trying to have a tough conversation.

"I think there are some structural problems in how he (Brad Paisley) and LL are addressing it," Luke said. "But it beats writing a song about a truck."

Paisley insists the song is an honest attempt at addressing a complicated issue.

He told Entertainment Weekly, "I think that [the song] comes from an honest place in both cases, and that's why it's on there and why I'm so proud of it. This isn't a stunt. This isn't something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that."

Stephanie Klein, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Stephanie joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012).
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