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Kitty Pryde
04-10-2013, 05:44 AM
So...I'm a little shocked there's no thread about this yet. In short, Brad Paisley asked LL Cool J to collaborate on a country-western-rap song* about how hard it is to be a white person** and he did so and the phrase "Mister White Man" was busted out***. LL says he will forgive Brad wearing a confederate flag if Brad will not judge LL for wearing baggy pants or gold chains. I'll give you a minute to let your blood pressure return to normal... The thing is pretty appallingly racist and I am pretty depressed about LL having anything to do with it.

The internets and the twitters and the news and basically the entire world are offended by both the badness of the song and the message. The only site I could find that not mocking it mercilessly was some scary racist blog which I shan't link to here. I guess I give the artists points for an unintentionally extremely ironic title? Anyway. Thoughts?

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/accidental-racist-sparks-outrage-ridicule-article-1.1311180

http://jezebel.com/brad-paisleys-accidental-racist-song-is-terrible-ho-471297837

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/04/accidental_racist_brad_paisley_ll_cool_j_song_has_ good_intentions_but_terrible.html

*Danger, Will Robinson!
**I've got a very bad feeling about this.
***For reals.

Cyia
04-10-2013, 05:57 AM
I wondered if there would be a thread here about this after I saw it online.

Brad Paisley's stock in trade are tongue in cheek parody songs (Ticks, Cooler Online, etc.), which is what I was expecting given the title of this one, but... to be honest, I don't have a clue what anyone involved in the song was aiming for. I can imagine (<-- read: hope) that there were some good intentions on the singers' parts, but there's simply no way to execute something like this without it becoming a musical ode to Save the Pearls.

thebloodfiend
04-10-2013, 07:56 AM
I'm confused. Are these two still relevant?

Eh, at least they tried? Maybe?

I'll only say as dumb and insulting at this is, at least they didn't call a woman a dumb ho or a bitch or a slut. I'm quite amazed they got around that with all the ridiculous stereotypes they were throwing around.

Jcomp
04-11-2013, 07:02 PM
I'm confused. Are these two still relevant?

Eh, at least they tried? Maybe?



That's kind of how I feel about it. I never came close to being enraged. Paisley doesn't come across as racist to me, just misguided, what have you. What the hell, at least he's trying to be honest (presuming he and LL aren't supposed to be "in character" for the song, which is something that many people tend not to allow musicians to be, for some reason). And LL's involvement doesn't suprise or disappoint me at all. He's a hip-hop legend, but he's never been even remotely conscious, has always been a brash attention seeker, and has been making music decisions based on money and ego for at least 15 years now.

Kitty Pryde
04-11-2013, 07:47 PM
That's kind of how I feel about it. I never came close to being enraged. Paisley doesn't come across as racist to me, just misguided, what have you. What the hell, at least he's trying to be honest (presuming he and LL aren't supposed to be "in character" for the song, which is something that many people tend not to allow musicians to be, for some reason). And LL'sbased involvement doesn't suprise or disappoint me at all. He's a hip-hop legend, but he's never been even remotely conscious, has always been a brash attention seeker, and has been making music decisions based on money and ego for at least 15 years now.

i mean, i guess you're right that i shouldn't be judging someone's level of social conscience based on how spectacular their abs are. Probably.

Jcomp
04-11-2013, 08:01 PM
Ha.

Reading some of Paisley's interviews, I'm willing to at least consider the idea that the song was meant to be "in character." Paisley described it as a "conversation between country music and rap music." They're both playing the parts of stereotypical country or hip-hop artists or fans as they see it, and having this "conversation" based on that. To me, it still comes across as clumsy and ignorant, but I can't be mad at it. (Interestingly, there's this weird retro trend kind of going on in hip-hop where stuff from the 80's and early 90's like gold chains and high tops have been on a bit of a come back, so some of LL's references that would otherwise be outdated actually aren't, but I'm thinking that's by mistake.)

I've created this weird analogy for these situations that probably isn't great, but I'm a sucker for analogies so I like to trot it out anyway (this is probably like the third time I've used it on AW). Basically, Paisley and LL are like a bad juggling act, which isn't worthy of outrage in itself, but they chose to juggle something (in this circumstance, race) that could be disastrous if you mishandle it, like chainsaws and lit torches. If they were juggling tennis balls and candy bars no one would be mad if they screwed up. But you start tossing around chainsaws and torches, you better not accidentally toss those into the front row of the audience, or people are gonna get upset.

benbradley
04-11-2013, 08:22 PM
I heard the story on the radio Tuesday:

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=176677624

Maybe it was all the noise driving on the downtown connector, but I heard this:

He says that he's wearing the shirt not because he has any kind of racist inclinations but because he's a Skynyrd fan,...
and I swear heard skinner (as in skinhead) fan.

ellio
04-11-2013, 11:43 PM
I'm just soooo unexcited for when I inevitably run into a wildly indifferent racist that uses the excuse "Hey man, don't judge me. I'm not judging you. LL and Brad Paisley say them's the rules!"

kuwisdelu
04-12-2013, 12:23 AM
What could possibly go wrong when you combine two genres I dislike?

Kitty27
04-26-2013, 12:38 AM
Chile........


That's all I got. Further words fail me.

Voyager
04-26-2013, 12:54 AM
If country music and rap music are going to have a conversation, shouldn't the envoys be either old sages or, at the very least, someone relatively relevant within the last decade?

sunandshadow
04-26-2013, 01:16 AM
I don't get it... I thought that was a really good song, aside from the fact that the mixer settings for LL's vocals weren't the best.

Elaine Margarett
04-26-2013, 01:32 AM
I wondered if there would be a thread here about this after I saw it online.

Brad Paisley's stock in trade are tongue in cheek parody songs (Ticks, Cooler Online, etc.), which is what I was expecting given the title of this one, but... to be honest, I don't have a clue what anyone involved in the song was aiming for..

Oh, I thought it had to be a parody, I mean it's so bad!

But then again I'm not familiar with Paisley's music. <shrug>

Oops, sorry Sunandshadow. Guess it's "An Eye of the Beholder" kind of thing.

sunandshadow
04-26-2013, 01:52 AM
Oh, I thought it had to be a parody, I mean it's so bad!

But then again I'm not familiar with Paisley's music. <shrug>

Oops, sorry Sunandshadow. Guess it's "An Eye of the Beholder" kind of thing.
Well, I liked it because it's pointing out the fact that people are often judged in contexts that are personally irrelevant to them, but which they are socially pressured to be aware of and self-judge in anticipation of these irrelevant, almost alien, mindsets. Anyone in any kind of cultural minority has probably felt that pressure, and I was pleased to hear someone reacting against it. The music was ok, not wonderful, very run of the mill compared to what I'd hear in one of the local southern-themed restaurants.

Kitty Pryde
04-26-2013, 04:07 AM
sunandshadow, the song, in addition to sucking mightily, is shockingly racist (frinstance, equating being judged for being racist with being judged for being black, or equating owning slaves with wearing necklaces). it's insanely ignorant of any modern notions of equality or anti racism. i recommend steve colbert and ian cumming's "Oopsie Daisy Homophobe" song to put it in perspective a bit.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425563/april-17-2013/-accidental-racist--song

Elaine Margarett
04-26-2013, 05:21 AM
sunandshadow, the song, in addition to sucking mightily, is shockingly racist (frinstance, equating being judged for being racist with being judged for being black, or equating owning slaves with wearing necklaces). it's insanely ignorant of any modern notions of equality or anti racism. i recommend steve colbert and ian cumming's "Oopsie Daisy Homophobe" song to put it in perspective a bit.

You know when I first heard the song I was thinking it sounded like something from the Colbert Report.
"Oopsie Daisy Homophobe" was great! And to think the man can also dance a mean Swan Lake. :-)

Celia Cyanide
04-27-2013, 05:47 AM
If country music and rap music are going to have a conversation, shouldn't the envoys be either old sages or, at the very least, someone relatively relevant within the last decade?

You think Kanye should be having a conversation with Taylor Swift?

Kim Fierce
04-27-2013, 05:54 AM
Celia . . . oh that would be such a great song . . . and video! And live concert! I would pay to see it.

I really liked it when Jay-Z and Linkin Park worked together a few years ago, and I thought I was seeing a new genre of the future. I know two other groups did rap and rock combined around that time period but I forget who they are, now and I don't think it was as successful as the Jay-Z/Linkin Park combo. I really wanted to see more of that.

Country and rap seems like a major challenge. I haven't been able to listen to this particular song yet b/c I'm at work and have no speakers. But if someone could actually pull that off I think it would be epic. I am not a big country fan, though.

RemaCaracappa
04-30-2013, 08:26 AM
Country and rap seems like a major challenge.

Cowboy Troy. He calls it "hick hop" and is quite entertaining. He's also done some work on some of the songs by Big and Rich, "Rollin', The Ballad of Big and Rich" comes to mind.

Kim Fierce
05-01-2013, 01:42 AM
Oh, I don't know much about country but I thought Cowboy Troy was a permanent member of Big and Rich!

There is a song about cruisin with the windows down playing these days and I don't know who sings it but it definitely has a hick hop vibe!

Raventongue
05-01-2013, 06:58 PM
Brad Paisley's stock in trade are tongue in cheek parody songs (Ticks, Cooler Online, etc.)

I really thought only a few of his songs were parodies... The number of people I personally know who enjoy Ticks non-ironically now depresses me even more than I when I thought it was meant at face value.

Between Ticks and this new abomination, it seems like it's way past time for Brad Paisley to give up satire.

KingAlanI
05-09-2013, 12:32 AM
I heard about this mess, didn't look into it until now. Gawd that's bad. And those other two Paisley songs, just looking at the lyrics....:(

Little Ming
05-09-2013, 02:30 AM
I really thought only a few of his songs were parodies... The number of people I personally know who enjoy Ticks non-ironically now depresses me even more than I when I thought it was meant at face value.

Between Ticks and this new abomination, it seems like it's way past time for Brad Paisley to give up satire.

I'm not familiar with Brad Paisley, but just want to comment generally...

I think a lot of people underestimate just how difficult good parody and satire really is. Especially when you're playing at the level of Stephen Colbert where what you are saying really is ignorant and offensive, but you have to say it in a way that actually pokes fun and reveals deeper truths about the issues.

That said, while it's bad enough that the lyrics of this song are ignorant and offensive, musically it's pretty bad too.

Adelaide
05-11-2013, 10:56 AM
The song is pretty horrendous. LL actually manages to come off WORSE than Brad Paisley with that line equating the chains of slavery to gold jewelry chains. I mean the ownership, exploitation, dehumanization, and subsequent marginalization of human beings versus flashy jewelry? REALLY?

Mara
05-12-2013, 06:34 PM
The song is pretty horrendous. LL actually manages to come off WORSE than Brad Paisley with that line equating the chains of slavery to gold jewelry chains. I mean the ownership, exploitation, dehumanization, and subsequent marginalization of human beings versus flashy jewelry? REALLY?

Yeah. I'm white and feel uncomfortable commenting on how black people handle things like that, normally, but that line really made me sick. A good chunk of the books I studied in grad school were in-depth looks at just how awful American slavery was, and to say something like, "If you forgive me for having a different fashion style than some white racists like, I'll forgive you for one of the worst crimes in human history," is just...argh! There's got to be a line drawn somewhere.

I still put the blunt of the blame on Paisley, though, because this whole thing was his stupid idea. I can imagine LL just going along with it out of pity for such an ignorant person or a misguided attempt to try to reach out to the racists and bending over too far backwards to find a "both sides" approach. The problem is that there's no "both sides" to anti-black racism.

Kim Fierce
05-14-2013, 11:37 PM
Oh, I don't know much about country but I thought Cowboy Troy was a permanent member of Big and Rich!

There is a song about cruisin with the windows down playing these days and I don't know who sings it but it definitely has a hick hop vibe!

The song I was thinking of is Cruise by Florida Georgia Line with Nelly (remix, I think). Now that is a good song and doesn't go into the racially charged lyrics, it's just two different groups joined together. I don't know Florida Georgia Line but I like Nelly, a self-proclaimed country boy. And I don't really like country, and I still haven't actually listened to the LL and Paisley song, but to me it seems like the Nelly song might be something that more people would be able to enjoy with country and hip hop combined.

Jcomp
05-15-2013, 01:44 AM
In terms of combining genres, while it's not exactly "country," there's a bluegrass / hip-hop group called "Gangstagrass." I'm already a casual bluegrass fan, so maybe I'm a bit biased, but I dig their music (then again, I'm also a casual country fan, but I've disliked every country-rap hybrid I've ever heard).

benbradley
05-15-2013, 04:50 AM
For some different bluegrass, there's Hayseed Dixie.

Adelaide
05-16-2013, 07:16 PM
Yeah. I'm white and feel uncomfortable commenting on how black people handle things like that, normally, but that line really made me sick. A good chunk of the books I studied in grad school were in-depth looks at just how awful American slavery was, and to say something like, "If you forgive me for having a different fashion style than some white racists like, I'll forgive you for one of the worst crimes in human history," is just...argh! There's got to be a line drawn somewhere.

I still put the blunt of the blame on Paisley, though, because this whole thing was his stupid idea. I can imagine LL just going along with it out of pity for such an ignorant person or a misguided attempt to try to reach out to the racists and bending over too far backwards to find a "both sides" approach. The problem is that there's no "both sides" to anti-black racism.

Right. I think you're totally right. There are no "both sides." Anti-black racism is facilitated by white supremacy and white power structures. LL Cool J is a black man who does not benefit from this, while Paisley as a white man does. But LL particular lines stung deeper in this instance in their particular content. Paisley said some pretty bad things too, don't get me wrong, the pointedness of those LL Cool J lines was shocking to me.

KingAlanI
05-21-2013, 08:20 AM
What about redneck rapper Kid Rock?


For some different bluegrass, there's Hayseed Dixie.

Ah, rock covers in country/bluegrass style. Different-genre covers in general can be a lot of fun