Lenny Kravitz's stirring new track Black White America was inspired by American racists who threatened to kill Barack Obama if he became U.S. President.
The Are You Gonna Go My Way singer was appalled by one TV documentary he saw shortly after Obama announced his intention to run for the White House - and it brought up all kinds of mixed emotions about his own mixed-race upbringing.
Appearing on late night talk show Tavis Smiley, he explains, "There was a group of people somewhere in Middle America saying that this was not America to them and that this was absolutely disgusting, and what they were gonna do to make sure it doesn't happen, down to death.
"(They said), 'If the black man wins, we're gonna riot, we're gonna make sure he gets killed and this is a travesty... We all know this (racism) exists but to hear it like this, to hear it so strong in this day and age, it kind of shocked me for a second."
"That's what inspired the song, and then I started going into my whole past with my parents and what they went through. They got married in 1963 and they were in New York City... and they had hard times - walking down the street, comments, people spitting, yelling."
And the rocker admits the fact that his black mother played half of an inter-racial couple on TV show The Jeffersons didn't help matters: "That was 1975 and that was the inter-racial kiss on primetime television... and I remember the mail that she used to get back then. It was really bad, really bad."