In an interview this morning with Lisa Dent and Ramblin’ Ray of Chicago’s US99.5, Brad talked about the parody–and about the “firestorm” that surrounded “Accidental Racist,” a song that appears on his brand-new album Wheelhouse.
“What I was trying to do with this entire album was push boundaries,” said Brad. “And we definitely succeeded at that.”
As reported last week, “Accidental Racist”–a Paisley song that features guest vocals from LL Cool J–was an earnest attempt by the artists to open dialogue around the still-hot topic of racism. Brad called the song one of his proudest moments as a songwriter, while the media showered more attention on him, his collaborator, and the song that he ever could have predicted.
“And I figured, this being an album cut and not being the single, that it would take people a while to discover it.”
Brad told Lisa and Ray that, because the song was an album cut and not a single, he figured it would take people a while to discover the track. “And in a best case scenario, myself and LL Cool J would wind up on a show like NPR or Charlie Rose, and talk about the song and why we wrote it.”
Instead, he was pretty much blindsided. “It was 12 hours before the album was due to come out that every major network started running these debates” on the song. (In fact, he admitted last week that LL had to alert him to the fact that the song was suddenly a trending topic on Twitter.)
But he reiterated today what he said last week: all that attention was “such a victory” because the topic was suddenly on the table and the country was talking. “It takes a little bit of uncomfortable discussion to get a topic out in the open,” he said.
As as for the SNL spoof? Brad didn’t hesitate. “It was awesome.”
“By the end of the week, when the firestorm died down and [the song] was parodied, that’s when I realized it was a really good thing.”