Sideshow: Singing of racial divisions burns some

Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist" has drawn ire.
Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist" has drawn ire. (WADE PAYNE / Invision)
Posted: April 10, 2013

Is Brad Paisley's song "Accidental Racist" racist - whether by accident or by dread design? The question is burning a hole in the collective consciousness.

"I'm just a white man comin' to you from the south land tryin' to understand what it's like not to be," Paisley sings on the tune, which features guest vocals by LL Cool J. "Caught between Southern pride and Southern blame."

Paisley, 40, beloved of country and Southern-rock fans, tells Parade mag he had a simple goal: To write an honest, caring song about our racial divisions.

"How do you show your Southern pride and not be misunderstood?" Paisley tells the mag. "There were some things I wanted to say from my perspective as a Southerner, like, 'Contrary to what some people may think about Southerners who fly the Rebel flag or wear it, I hate slavery.' "

Paisley: LL Cool J dug it

Paisley says LL Cool J embraced "Accidental Racist" and joined him on the song with enthusiasm, telling him, "This is important. . . . It just feels like it's something we need to do."

The rapper's rhymes on the song include, "If you don't judge my do-rag/I won't judge your red flag," and "If you don't judge my gold chains/I'll forget the iron chains."

RiRi-Brown merry-go-round

He bashed her after a pre-Grammy Awards party in '09 and paid the price with an assault conviction.

Not three years had passed before they reconciled and she faced doubts from the public. She faced anger and derision from feminists. She faced them all down. Now E! News says Rihanna and her perennial bad boy Chris Brown have broken up again.

Roots to stay with Fallon

?uestlove of homegrown act the Roots tells Fuse music mag the band will stay with Jimmy Fallon when he takes over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno. "It's going to be the same show," he said. "We're staying."

Touching the 'Touch' theme

Many folks have been admiring the brief, wild theme music for that Fox show Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland. Starts with a bold piano theme, then lurches to this mechanistic churn that suggests the mind of a numerical genius. So who wrote it?

None other than Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, also known as the band Wendy & Lisa. They were the singers for Prince's band the Revolution back in his heady 1980s days. Good, surprising work, L&S.

Rolling Stones tix on sale

Tickets for the June 18 Rolling Stones show at the Wells Fargo Center go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Info: 1-800-298-4200 or

Tom Cruise is famous

So famous, that even his least significant verbal expectorations get full coverage. According to E!, Cruise made this startling revelation on German TV about Katie Holmes' decision to leave him: "I did not expect that." Added Cruise, "To be 50 and have experiences and think you have everything under control, and then it hits you - that's what life is . . . . Life is tragicomic."

Thatcher's death on Twitter

Monday on Twitter, somebody started a hashtag, #nowthatchersdead ("Now Thatcher's Dead") to gather remembrances of departed British leader Margaret Thatcher.

With stupendous idiocy, thousands read it as "Now That Cher's Dead," whereupon they issued wails of shocked grief.

Yet others read the hashtag as "Now T. Hatcher's Dead," referring to Desperate Housewives' Teri Hatcher. More wailing. Let's be clear: Cher is not dead. Teri Hatcher is not dead.

- John Timpane

Contact "SideShow" at This article includes information from Inquirer wire services.

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