The internet is buzzing about Brad Paisley's collaboration with LL Cool J on the new track "Accidental Racist." The tune details the tensions of the south and the rapper's experiences in New York City. Some don't like the song's "Southern pride" message.
The tune starts: "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. The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the South."
The country star later sings: "I try to put myself in your shoes and that's a good place to begin. Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood. I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could... 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."
LL Cool J chimes in: "Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood what the world is really like when you're living in the hood. Just because my pants are sagging doesn't mean I'm up to no good."
Some found the reference to slavery and LL's lyrics - "If you don't judge my gold chains, I'll forget the iron chains" - particularly offense.
Many fans have responded negatively to the song, and Paisley defended it to Entertainment Weekly. He explained: "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."
He added on Twitter: "So, as you buy this album, I hope it triggers emotions. I hope you feel joy, heartache, triumph, surprise; you laugh, cry, nudge someone beside you...Cause I wouldn't change a thing. This is a record meant to be far from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya'll."
"Accidental Racist" is from Paisley's ninth studio album, "Wheelhouse," which is available now.