The Buzz

Accidental Racist cures me of LL Cool J

Categories: Music

 LL Cool J loses a fan over Accidental Racist. (Associated Press)
I have a thing for LL Cool J. Let's just get that out in the open from the start. It dates back to his Mama Said Knock You Out days and continued even after finding out that LL Cool J stands for "Ladies Love Cool James."

When I heard about Brad Paisley's new song Accidental Racist, I nearly compromised a deadline to hear it at my desk the moment it was released because it features my dear LL.

And I now realize that was five minutes I will never get back.

 Brad Paisley refused to apologize for the song, but the YouTube video has disappeared. (Associated Press)

Not just because the song trivializes slavery as simply a mistake: "And we're still paying for the mistakes that a bunch of folks made long before we came." Although that line on its own is embarrassing enough.

It's not even because LL raps: "If you forget my gold chains/I'll forget the iron chains." Ummm, pardon? I am all for a good rhetorical device, but comparing bling to the chains of slaves just so you can employ the effect of repetition is stretching. A LOT.

My disdain is because — controversial lyrics aside — this is is just a really bad song. Who would listen to that if you weren't trapped in an elevator or perhaps desperately trying to get rid of a bad date who won't leave your car at the end of the night? No wonder it's been taken off YouTube.

I get that the song is an earnest attempt to bridge racial tensions in the U.S.

But I'm also getting that it wasn't accidental at all. In fact, it may have been brilliant marketing to release a song with such ridiculous words that people get sidetracked from the atrocious melody.

Accidental Racist won't purge the world of racism but it has purged my obsession with LL Cool J.

This Lady no longer Loves Cool James.

— Zulekha Nathoo

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