When White Power Goes Wrong

Being an “Accidental Racist” sucks, Braid Paisley. It’s better to be an on-purpose racist.

Back in the 1970s, my man Neil Young stepped to the South via a banger he wrote called “Southern Man.” Neil Young is a real dude, but he caught flack from a lotta Southern whites because they felt like hey, who is this Canadian mofo commenting on how we get down? Mind you, Neil’s joint popped off not long after the so-called Negroes were getting hosed down in the streets as mean German Shepphards were gently coaxed into biting the brothers by white men with rabies. Don’t believe me? Go look at the photos from back then and see the foam ooze from their mouths when it was time to crack some African skulls. Just calling a spade a spade here.

This Brad Paisley/LL Cool J duet is embarrassing for both black people and white people. Embarassing for America. Like, Paisley shoulda holla’d at YelaWolf or something to get this right. Or even DJ Yela from N.W.A. Homeboy’s take on race relations in this country is crustier than John Wayne’s jock strap.  Flavor Flav dissed John Wayne on the classic Public Enemy banger “Fight The Power.” Dude from Cameo used to wear a bright red jock strap over his spandex pants (“cod piece”).

Black Americans don’t need white country singers to apologize for slavery. History is sometimes ratchet, but we have to focus on the right now right now. Learn from history. White people: please don’t apologize for the sins of your forefathers to a do-rag sporting rapper in a Starbucks (i mean, the sentiment is nice, but unless your words can change education and employment and the prison system in this country, just fall back). That action deserves a shot in the ass with a spud gun (in public). Today, there’s a half black president in office. That same president listens to Jay Z and pardons him for going to Cuba (you think Hov didn’t run that move by his man first? FOH. Hov ain’t stupid). Black people are big time now.

Apologizing for slavery is crazy. Although…this scribe produced a documentary starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson for the stellar Vh1 network called The Origin of Me wherein the rap mogul met one of the descendants of the folks who owned his descendents. The gentleman Curtis met was 88 years old, and the pair met on the actual plantation where 50’s ancestors lived and worked; the older gentleman apologized to Curtis and his great aunt for the evils of slavery…and soon after, the older gentleman sang the classic Fiddy line, “Go shorty, it’s your birthday.” It was a touching moment that also punctuated how far things have come. That old fellow has sense. He wouldn’t wear tight jeans because they’re cool, and he’s not going to start saying “ratchet” because the kids say it.

Brad: so you’re a white man at Starbaucks, and you’re feeling guilty because you’re wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd  t shirt? And LL is on the song talkin’ about seeing cowboy hats and feeling nervous, and, like, don’t judge us blacks for wearing sagging jeans? Really?! Look at the South through the eyes of a modern Southern Man like YelaWolf. I’m sure not everybody is as progressive as he is down there, but people aren’t necessarily always so progressive up here in the North, either. Tyler the Creator has no problem with his white buddies saying the N word. I’m not saying that that is right. I’m just saying that that is what it is today. I wish Tyler felt differently, but I’m from a different time.

James Todd Smith: you’ve become a black Jimmy Swaggert, and you’re preaching a gospel in 2013 that only Archie Bunker and Adolph Giuliani can appreciate.

Speaking of Skynyrd, Neil Young’s “Southern Man” prompted Skynard to pen one of their deffest songs ever, “Sweet Home Alabama.” Yo, they called out Neil Young by name on the song! They were mad because Neil was talking about Southern slave whippings and the destruction of black skin. Neil Young was hip hop back in 1970. He battled with lyrics! He was saying something. Brad and LL ain’t sayin’ nothin’. As an aside, I don’t know or care to know weather of not Lynyrd Skynyrd like black people—I don’t look to musicians for social acceptance–but I will forever maintain that “Sweet Home Alabama” is funk from a whiteman’s perspective, and just like white women are being recognized for occasionally having ass today, white people have always been funky (Word to Teena Marie and Hall and Oates).

Brad Paisley is funky in the old-fashioned sense, as in this tune smells real bad. Smells worse than a gang of West Virginia coalminers who haven’t showered in two weeks. And Uncle L—you’ve become Grandpa L and there’s no damn good reason for it. You’re still in crazy shape, and if it was the old days, say, ’89, I’d be afraid of you rolling up on me like an enraged member of the World Famous Supreme Team (you know which Supreme Team I’m talkin’ about). Today, you’ve become someone who is thirsty for young blood. A rap vampire. I’m saying this because vampires live long, and your career has remained alive and vital for many years. But this Paisley song and that “Ratchet” song just prove that you want that young blood. Instead of aging like fine wine, or wrinkling with grace like Mick Jagger, you, again, went Jimmy Swaggert (check tha rhyme). You’re better than that.

Darius “Hootie” Rucker—where you at, son? You’re actually a black man in country music who can say things.  I know you’re at Hooters as we speak, downing a beer and laughing at all of this. Shame on you. As one of the few blacks with influence in the genre (peace Charlie Pride), it is on you to educate the white people on how the blacks roll. And speaking of wrapping, you should wrap LL’s hands with Colonel Sanders’ cane for doing what he done did.

This song is like hay ride through the projects: a bad idea. “You don’t judge my du-rag/I won’t judge your red flag.” Wow.

FYI: The Abraham Lincoln “thanks for freeing me” shout out at the end of the track is bananas. Word to Magilla Gorilla.

As for “Live For You”, the other joint L and BP jus dropped, let’s just say “Ebony and Ivory” it ain’t.

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  • Marcus

    Rush Limbaugh has no white guilt. He’s a hater to the umph degree.

  • Skzyp.md

    That was a whole lot of incredibad. The shout out at the end just made me want to hide my head. What the frack?

  • The title of this article is all kinds of fucked up. When has white power ever “gone right?”

  • Hypestyles

    Re: The LL/Brad Paisley flap: It’s interesting. I’ve always admired and respected LL from afar, I grew up listening to his music. I’ve got all the albums, though I tend to like the early albums much more than the latter-day albums. Hopefully he’ll get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year.
    LL’s stabs at “political” or “social justice” subject matter have been rather scattershot over the years. Outside of nominally militant sentiments generic to most rappers (I’m Young, I’m Black, I’m Bad, Watch Out, which LL personified) LL tended to deemphasize being anyone’s revolutionary.
    Especially on his early albums, he tended to avoid the directly political or afrocentric agitation of a Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy or Brand Nubian. Obviously, he was never straight-up gangster and full of anti-cop tales in the vein of Ice-T or N.W.A. Savvy heads will remember that he wrote MC Lyte’s part in “Self Destruction”, but did not do a rap himself (nor appear in the video). He did do a rap on the follow-up, “H.E.A.L. yourself” (his verse centered around female masturbation… and drug abuse, go figure) but he chose not to be in the video. “Illegal Search”, a B-side single about police harassment, seemed to get some fans back.
    “All We Got Left is the Beat”, from the “14 Shots…” LP was maybe his most blatantly politcal-styled song to date at the time (“who brings drugs into the USA, and then makes sure that they come around the way.. feedin’ us poison until the whole race drops, and teachin’ my woman that she should call up the cops..” “Homicide” on the G.O.A.T. album tread similar territory, where he remarked “Columbine happens in the ‘hood every day… and most of y’all ain’t got nothin’ to say.”
    “Mr. President” (featuring Wyclef) was an album cut off “Exit 13″ that touched on the current Gulf Wars. On the same album, he had “American Girl”, a latter-day curiosity which seemingly was aimed to cement his patriotic bonafides via name-dropping NASCAR, Nebraska, Benjamin Franklin and Jessica Simpson, among others (“I’ll take George off and put your boobs on the dollar”). Maybe this was for his USO tours?
    He was apparently booed at a “Rappers against Racism” rally circa 1989,when “Walking with a Panther” was considered by some to be the Golden Age version of “Watch the Throne”, party-time and lavish-living cluelessness amidst rampant inner-city social turmoil.
    LL has publicly described himself as an independent, in an interview with CNN’s Pierce Morgan. I suspect the alleged GOP allegiance, in part, from his public endorsement of former NY governor Pataki around the time that Carl McCall was the Democratic Party’s first major African-American candidate for governor (supposedly, LL registered as a voter for the first time during this election cycle). Another alleged connection (IMO, somewhat of a flimsy one) was that LL was among those giving tribute to the late James Brown at the Kennedy Center Awards 2003 ceremony, which took place during George W. Bush’s tenure.
    LL also testified to Congress circa 2003, during the initial height of Internet filesharing controversies, arguing on the side of stricter regulations and “being compensated”. On another note, LL openly balked when a Fox News show starring Sarah Palin (the concept was “American success stories”) planned to use a much-older interview with him as part of the program.
    With this latest song (the links seem to keep being pulled down, lol) I haven’t heard it yet, so I’ll reserve judgment for now. Somehow, I’m thinking that the final product would be different if Mr. Paisley approached Mos Def, KRS-One or Chuck D.

  • SHR

    yo…wanna write for Mass Appeal?!

  • Hypestyles

    absolutely. What’s the next step?

  • holler: sacha@massappeal.com. anyone else interested in writing for Mass Appeal? if you’ve got critical thinking skills like my man Hypestyles, holla.