Say what you will about the lyrics to Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist," but the country star's collaborator on the controversial plea for racial harmony stands firmly behind his work.
"I needed to do something that was going to be interesting like that, and shake things up, and jump out of the box," veteran rapper LL Cool J told CNN on Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards, before the flap erupted over the song. "I'm really proud of it, and I hope the world hears it and enjoys it."
After the song hit the Internet on Monday it immediately stirred up some controversy thanks to provocative lyrics that include, "I'm a white man living in the southland...I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done," and "It ain't like you and me can rewrite history...walking over eggshells."
Singing that he's just, "A proud rebel son ... lookin' like I got a lot to learn," Paisley prompts LL to respond, "If you don't judge my do-rag ... I won't judge your red flag ... If you don't judge my gold chains ... I'll forget the iron chains."
"Music is about, and art is about, connecting different people, and building bridges and breaking the rules," Cool J told CNN. "If it's not compelling, and it's not complex and it's not interesting, then what are we doing it for? So I think that's the right move."
Paisley defended the song's message of the continued struggle for racial harmony on Monday, telling 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. I knew it would be, but I'm sort of doing it in spite of that, really."
Representatives for LL had not responded to MTV News' request for comment at press time.