Country music singer Steve Grand was a nobody before last week, but now he’s YouTube famous thanks to his music video for “All-American Boy”, which has logged more than 611,000 views and counting. The reason for the sudden public interest is that Steve is believed to be country music’s first openly gay singer, which is a lot like being the guy who drinks wine coolers at a NASCAR tailgate.
While Steve is just trying to make a name for himself as a songwriter and not intentionally stir up controversy, he could really poke the sleeping bear (pun intended) by naming his next song, “Watch Me Make Out with a Black Man.”
Brad Paisley’s new album, Wheelhouse, features collaborations from a number of music artists, including Charlie Daniels and Dierks Bentley, but he could have brought Michael Jackson back from the dead for a new version of Thriller done only in armpit farts, and people would still probably be talking about “Accidental Racist” featuring LL Cool J.
An ode to how white and black people have misconceptions about each other from rebel flag t-shirts to gold chains, “Accidental Racist” has caused a shitstorm on the Internet that Paisley probably didn’t expect. That said, EW got a very lengthy, rambling response from Paisley in advance about why he recorded this song and the basic gist is:
It just doesn’t do any good to blatantly do things and be like, ‘Just get over it.’ That’s not what we’re saying. This is a very sensitive subject, and we’re trying to have the discussion in a way that it can help.
Discussions about race relations are great. We probably need them now more than ever. But do we need them in a hokey country music song with a terribly out-of-place rap that feature the line “RIP Robert E. Lee”? God I hope not.