So I finally heard that song ‘Accidental Racist’ by brad paisley and LL cool J (!!!) and wow…it’s so shitty. I mean, the idea is fundamentally a bummer: ‘Hey, I’m just a white guy in a confederate flag shirt getting vibed by this black guy in Starbucks because he thinks I’m a racist while actually, (get this!) I’m just a Skynyrd fan. Shucks!’ And then LL comes in and raps (!!!!) things like “RIP Robert E Lee” and something about how the “Mason Dixon needs some fixin.” At a certain point, Mr. Cool James actually says “you don’t worry about my gold chains and I’ll forget about the slave chains” or something terrifyingly close to that effect. The whole song sucks on a level that’s pretty colossal.
However, it’s not just that Accidental Racist is kind of glossing over willful stupidity in favor of just letting shit keep on keeping on (“I kind of think the confederate flag is cool, I’ve already got the shirts…I don’t actually do any lynching…it should be okay to wear this fucker around. Anyone who gets bummed out is the one with the problem, not me. I ain’t racist”) and what can only be called a super wimpy, “yeah, bro…we’re cool with the slavery stuff now. Just quit messing with my saggy pants and gold chains” response (which…I mean, DUDE. Seriously? LL Cool J, this is how you’re gonna close out your career? Being fifty and rapping on a fucking country western song about gold chains and saggy drawers? Even without the let’s-call-it-a-day-on-the-slavery aspect, pretty lame, bro.) And it’s not even that everyone involved seems to have an extremely limited idea of how history actually went (one particularly poignant line finds mr. Paisley discussing how the Reconstruction did such a good job of fixing up lots of damaged buildings).
No, the thing is this: the song just sucks. The melodies suck. The chorus is a drawn out prechorus that never delivers. The verses are tepid, timid and crappy and LL Cool J raps with all the adept versatility of Christopher Reeve navigating hurricane rubble in his blow-tube-powered wheelchair. Top it off with lyrics that are guaranteed to bum out racists, non racists, anti racists, black guys, white guys and almost everyone except for the most Mountain Dew saturated thought-free hicks who just want some sort of ditty readily available that can remind ‘em that there’s no need to do laundry and/or change shirts, and you’ve got what’s destined to go down in history as the crappiest turd ever.
Recently, my friend Matt was asked by the Onion to name his least favorite song. He chose Two Princes by Spin Doctors, which is a dumb song for sure (I personally think it’s so dumb that it’s back to awesome. In fact, the Lawrence Arms actually used 2 Princes as our intro music for a few shows. It received a chorus of boos. Not the best way to get the crowd pumped…but I digress). I saw that Coco from Gaslight Anthem recently did the same feature in the Onion and discussed Weezer’s Hash Pipe as being his least favorite song (for the record, I REALLY like Hash Pipe. I think it’s great). A few other people who I don’t know had a bunch of ideas about a bunch of bad songs and I read a few of them before being struck by 2 things. Here they are:
1. It’s almost impossible to just trash something without sounding like a dick. Songs are just little 2 minute ethereal pieces of ‘art.’ Some are cool. Some are lame, but viscerally hating music, while understandable and even probably universal, is a huge waste of an emotion as exhausting and powerful as hate. When you start putting that much energy into despising a song, you’re gonna come off sounding like a bit of an asshole. I think it’s inevitable.
2. I had NO idea what song I would pick were I to somehow join the elite ranks of people about whom the onion cares re: opinions on things. There are songs that I think stink…lots and lots of them. That one song by Dashboard Confessional that was really popular in like 2000 was not that good, but I don’t know if I could whip myself into a frenzy about it now, thirteen years after the fact. I hate everything ever done by that band Live. I think they’re garbage. But again, yawn. Not a huge fan of Let the Bodies Hit the Floor, but I DO like how fat that guy was and the fact that he died how he lived…namely, hitting the floor with his body. I just don’t really have anything for this category. There’s lots of stuff that sucks. But HATING it? Eh…seems like a lot of work.
Until now. I think Accidental Racist may be the dumbest song I’ve ever heard. It stinks, it’s insulting to several levels of my intelligence and generally it’s a major bummer. Also, it solidifies LL Cool J as a turd, which is disheartening.
Eh, whatever. I know I’m hardly the only person on the internet being gleefully shocked at how dumb that song is, but man…wow. Wow.
Okay, I’m out. Gotta go to work. See y’all later.
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