OFFSTAGE: Brad Paisley’s New Album and "Accidental Racist"

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OFFSTAGE: Brad Paisley’s New Album and "Accidental Racist"

Published on April 09, 2013 by CMT News

Brad Paisley
(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and
out of the spotlight.)

On Friday (April 5) in Las Vegas, Brad Paisley invited
some of his friends to listen to his new album Wheelhouse in Las Vegas. He admitted he’d almost had two nervous breakdowns
in the process of making it. “But in the end,” Paisley said, “I wouldn’t change a note.” He told the roomful of people about
the three major rules he laid down when he started making the record:

1. “We are not going to fix this. This is my
band in all their imperfect glory.”
2. “Every song should do something you don’t expect. It should spin your head ’round
just a little bit.”
3. “I wanted to steal from other genres. I’m envious of the way rap can sample things and pay for it
later.”

One thing he “stole” from another genre was LL Cool J. After playing 10 songs from the album, Paisley got to
the one that everyone’s talking about — “Accidental Racist,” the duet with the rapper.

Setting up the back story for
the song, Paisley said, “I live in Tennessee. I’m very proud to live there. I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but
we’ve had some racial tensions in the last few 150 years. I’m not content to let the media or the talkers or Hollywood deal
with this anymore. It’s music’s turn to state our cases and maybe ask the questions. I don’t know if we answer anything in
this song. But we might ask the question for the first time, and maybe that’s the first step.”

Paisley sings that
a lot of us are kind of caught somewhere between Southern pride and Southern blame. I agree that maybe it’s music’s turn to
tackle major social issues — even if we don’t have all the answers.

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