#5. LL Cool J Apologizes for Burning Down the South
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Right, this really happens. At least that's what LL Cool J is getting at with this line:
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood
I wasn't there when Sherman's march turned the South into firewood
So LL Cool J is the one apologizing here? Not once has Brad Paisley said, "Hey, I'm sorry my ancestors owned slaves, but I wasn't there when it happened." But now LL Cool J is the one nervously explaining that he didn't torch the South? LL Cool J is the one who feels guilty? LL Cool J is the one who hopes people can look past the transgressions of those who came before him and see him instead for the all-around better person he is today?
And what the fuck is that "now my chains are gold" line supposed to mean? Is LL Cool J making a covert statement on the rampant materialism in rap music? Of course not; that would be kind of clever and interesting. Nothing of that sort is happening in this song. It's just all bad. And if LL is apologizing for the South losing the Civil War, what else is he willing to apologize for?
#4. LL Cool J Apologizes for Wearing Necessary Hair Products
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Because nothing is going to get resolved until black people accept their role in making the Confederate flag such a polarizing symbol, LL Cool J doesn't contain his apologies to the transgressions of the past. For example, the white man has to put up with seeing black dudes wearing do-rags all the time -- what's up with that shit? Is nobody going to apologize for that before the white man agrees to forgive?
Yeah, of course, LL Cool J is going to do it:
If you don't judge my do-rag, I won't judge your red flag
Did anyone else's head explode just now? Even if the only purpose of a do-rag was to intimidate white people, it still wouldn't warrant being mentioned in the same sentence as the goddamn Confederate flag. And besides, nobody wears a do-rag to scare people. They serve a legitimate purpose for people with a particular type of hair. Specifically, the type of hair you have to apologize to redneck twats for having so they don't feel uncomfortable putting their "I voted for slavery" stickers all over the place.
#3. LL Cool J Is Bad at Starting a Dialogue
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Before we get to those last couple points, let's pause to revisit something that, for the sake of continuity, I skipped over previously. This is how LL Cool J starts his verse:
Dear Mr. White Man, I hope you understand
What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood
Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good
Is "Mr. White Man" really the only phrase LL Cool J could come up with when trying to address the white race as a whole? Or was he just talking to racists? If so, are only men racist? Is that a new thing?
Also, if Brad Paisley started this song by singing the words "Dear Mr. Black Man" and then started running down all the reasons people in poor neighborhoods should stop worrying about police brutality so much, this song wouldn't have even made it out of the studio.
Am I saying there's some kind of double standard there? Sure I am. It's just a double standard I don't give a shit about. I don't need to start my speech to black people with the phrase "Dear Mr. Black Man," so what do I care if I'm not "allowed" to? It's not like doing that kind of stuff makes you look awesome, you know? Brad and James (Todd Smith) are learning that, among other things, right now.
Oh, and since I can't think of another good place to mention it, let's all just pause one more second to appreciate the absurdity of this Cool J line:
The relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin'
The area between "the Mason-Dixon" is simply a line known, of course, as "the Mason-Dixon Line." There are no people, places, or relationships on that line. There is nothing to fix. It is merely a line. You know, like the one that's about to be crossed in the next entry!
#2. LL Cool J Makes the Worst Reparations Deal Imaginable
So LL Cool J has gone on record to reassure white people that, even if those who supported his right to not be property may have foolishly stomped that idea and the backwoods region that supported it into rubble, he wasn't a part of that decision. Where do you go from here?
There's only one way to top apologizing for fighting back against the tyranny of slavery, and that's to offer up the most lopsided compromise in the history of interpersonal relationships:
If you don't judge my gold chains, I'll forget the iron chains.
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Motherfucking what?!?!?! I think I can just shoot down that deal on behalf of everyone right now. You'll forgive white people for slavery if they stop questioning your jewelry? Is that really the final sticking point when it comes to race relations? The white man's acceptance of fancy jewelry? If so, racism ended when the A-Team became popular.
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This is the man who fixed everything.
Who knew it could be that easy? Surely this has to be it, though, right? Now we're done. How much worse can this get? There's not much left to do short of, I don't know, having LL Cool J give a shout out to Robert E. Lee?
#1. LL Cool J Gives a Shout Out to Robert E. Lee
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Sure, of course he does. How else are you going to end a song like this? By just stopping the tape somewhere in the middle and burning the studio where this crime against society happened straight to the ground? No, that would be too easy, and far too desirable of an outcome. Things this terrible just don't come to that kind of conclusion.
Instead, the last thing society's right to be outraged when rednecks drape themselves in Confederate flags sees before LL Cool J finally shoots it in the face is this:
RIP Robert E. Lee but I've gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean?
Yes, LL Cool J, we do know what you mean. We know exactly what you mean. If anyone doesn't understand what you're saying, it's probably you and Brad Paisley.