Paisley, LL Cool J Stand by 'Accidental Racist'

ABC News Blogs

Paisley, LL Cool J: 'Accidental Racist' Is About Forgiveness

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Paisley, LL Cool J: 'Accidental Racist' Is About Forgiveness

It only took a few hours for a six-minute song about race to spark a backlash after its release Monday.

The song by the unlikely duo of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J, "Accidental Racist," was slammed by music critics and fans alike for its attempt at a dialogue on race between two men from starkly different backgrounds with lyrics like "If you don't judge my do-rag … I won't judge your red flag" and "If you don't judge my gold chains … I'll forget the iron chains."

The country singer, 40, and his rapper counterpart, 45, say the national debate sparked by their song, released on Paisley's new album, "Wheelhouse," is exactly what they wanted to happen.

"I'm not really sure we're going to find any answers but it was the idea that we were asking the question," Paisley said in an exclusive interview with his duet partner that aired today on " Good Morning America."

"Martin Luther King says that darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can," LL Cool J said. "Hate can't drive out hate, only love can. So what we're talking about is compassion."

"Accidental Racist" focuses specifically on how northerners like LL Cool J, who grew up in New York City, view Southerners, like Paisley, a native of West Virginia, and vice versa.

WATCH: Brad Paisley Discusses Duet With LL Cool J

"I'm not advising anyone to truly forget slavery, but what I'm saying is forget the slavery mentality," LL Cool J said. "Forget the bitterness. Don't get bitter, get better."

Critics have been especially harsh on specific lines in the song like LL Cool J's singing "let bygones be bygones," and Paisley singing that white Americans are "still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made before we came."

"Some people take exception to some of the lyrics [and] I respect that," LL Cool J said. "I'm sensitive to that."

Paisley, for one, found out about the controversy from LL Cool J, who alerted him to the backlash after the video, in which LL Cool J plays a barista, was released on YouTube Monday.

"I got a call from this guy saying, 'Have you seen anything?'" Paisley said, adding that LL Cool J went on to tell him to look at Twitter. "I was like, 'No, I don't want to look at it.'"

Despite the backlash, the two stars, who will sing together again on LL Cool J's next album, to be released later this month, say they are proud of the song and the discussion it is creating.

"Let's not be victims of things that happened so long ago," Paisley said. "In the end, I felt like what we had on tape was something that people needed to hear."

LL Cool J said, "At the same time, let's respect it. But then after we respect it, let's also open our hearts up so we can move forward."

You can watch the full interview below.

ABC News' Lesley Messer contributed to this report.

View Comments (2082)

Recommended for You

  • Race for Survivors in Italy as Quake Death Toll Climbs to 250

    Rescue workers raced to find survivors one day after a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked central Italy, killing at least 250, injuring hundreds more and leaving thousands homeless. A powerful 4.7 magnitude aftershock hit the area at 6:28 AM local time Friday morning, according to the United…

    Good Morning America26 mins ago
  • Ryan Lochte Charged for Making False Police Report in Rio

    U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been charged for making a false police report in connection with the Rio de Janeiro gas station incident, Civil Police confirmed to ABC News. Earlier today, it was reported that Lochte has been summoned to give testimony related to the investigation into the…

    Good Morning America
  • Prince William and Lady in Red Kate Open Up About Parenting

    For the second day in a row, Prince William and Princess Kate met with children, parents and counselors seeking to provide a safe environment for children. The Royals visited Young Minds on Thursday in South East London. The charity operates a helpline for those needing support and the Duke and…

    Good Morning America
  • Viola Davis Opens Up About Her Youth as 'the Hungry Kid'

    Viola Davis took time out of her busy schedule today to talk about a mission that is near and dear to her heart, Hunger Is, her charity that aims to fight childhood hunger in America."We are launching a new fundraising in September," Davis said of her charity. "We're trying to get five million more…

    Good Morning America
  • This Sleeping Beauty Plays Dress Up With Her Mom While She Naps

    Four-month-old Joey Marie Choi is an adorable baby by day, and one of many pop culture icons by nap time. While Joey sleeps soundly, her mother, photographer Laura Izumikawa, dresses her little one up. "My husband and I always loved to dress up for Halloween every year, and it's just in our blood…

    Good Morning America
  • Syrian Conjoined Twins Evacuated to Damascus Hospital Die of Heart Failure

    Syrian conjoined twins who were evacuated from their war-torn town in Syria for medical treatment died of heart failure Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent announced. On Aug. 12, the 2-month-old twins, Nawras and Mou'az Al-Hashash were evacuated from the besieged Syrian town of Ghouta to a…

    Good Morning America
  • Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump Has Used 'Prejudice and Paranoia' in Campaign

    Hillary Clinton hit back at Donald Trump and his campaign tactics relating to race the day after he called her "a bigot," saying his real message is, "Make America hate again.""From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia," she said at an event in Reno, Nevada,…

    Good Morning America
  • Indiana Woman Loses Home of 16 Years After Devastating Tornado

    An Indiana woman is searching for personal items and sifting through the remains of her home after a ferocious tornado swept through her town Wednesday. Becki Sweeney was at work when the storm hit Kokomo, Indiana. Kokomo mayor Greg Goodnight said he feels "very grateful" that no deaths or…

    Good Morning America
  • The Heartbreaking Story Behind Photo of Elderly Couple Crying

    Bartyik said her grandpa, 83-year-old Wolfram Gottschalk, was first put in an assisted living home in January after he suffered health complications from dementia that made it impossible for her family to take care of him at home. Four months later, her grandmother -- 81-year-old Anita Gottschalk…

    Good Morning America
  • Homeland Security Investigates Hacking of 'Ghostbusters' Star Leslie Jones' Website

    The hacking of "Ghostbusters" star Leslie Jones' website, JustLeslie.com, is now a federal case. Rachael Yong Yow, public affairs officer for the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told ABC News today that the Department of Homeland Security is investigating the…

    Good Morning America
  • 20,000 Safety 1st Strollers Recalled in the US Because of Defect

    Approximately 20,000 baby strollers have been voluntarily recalled after many were found to have a defect that caused small children to fall out of their seat. The Safety 1st brand's Step and Go Travel Systems strollers have a defect that allows the tray folding mechanism to disengage while it is…

    Good Morning America
  • Nearly 2 Dozen Police Officers in Texas Surprise Fallen Comrade's Kids on 1st Day of School

    For Jessica Scherlen's three children, the first day back to school was a little lonelier this year. That's because their father, officer Justin Scherlen of the Amarillo Police Department in Texas, died earlier this month after succumbing to injuries he sustained in the line of duty. On the…

    Good Morning America
  • Sen. Joe Manchin Questions EpiPen Pricing by Company His Daughter Runs

    A U.S. senator whose daughter is the CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals has weighed in on the onslaught of criticism over the company’s pricing of its popular EpiPen, even as Mylan today promised to expand a discount program for the anti-allergy medication. “Today I heard Mylan's initial response, and I…

    Good Morning America
  • Little Girl's Excitement for First Day of School Is Too Much to Handle

    September is near, and a lot of kids aren’t too thrilled about going back to school.But not 2-year-old Zoe Brock, whose enthusiasm for the first day of her preschool classes is absolutely sending the internet over the edge.“This was Monday. We weren’t even at her school yet,” Zoe’s mom, Sharvonne…

    Good Morning America
  • Calls for Judge's Removal After 18-Year-Old Sexual Assault Defendant Given Probation

    An online petition is calling for a judge in Massachusetts to be removed from the bench after an 18-year-old male accused of sexually assaulting two classmates was sentenced to two years of probation. David Becker of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was charged with two counts of rape and one count…

    Good Morning America
  • Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson is Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actor, Says Forbes

    Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson is rock solid at the box office — so much that he is Hollywood’s highest-paid actor.The star of the forthcoming "Fast 8" earned an estimated $64.5 million in the last 12 months, according to Forbes — more than double what he made last year. Matt Damon, who placed third,…

    Good Morning America
  • Donald Trump Makes Appeal to Black Voters in Speeches but Seemingly Relies on RNC for Outreach

    He was scheduled to meet this morning with members of the Republican Leadership Initiative (RLI), a program started by the Republican National Committee to engage a diverse group of voters. Ashley Bell, senior strategist and national director for black engagement for the RNC, says outreach began…

    Good Morning America