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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

New audio of the Ferguson shooting. Plus, Obama approves reconnaissance flights over Syria.

New audio of the Ferguson shooting. Plus, Obama approves reconnaissance flights over Syria.

April 9th, 2013
07:01 PM ET

Culture critic: 'Accidental Racist' song fails on every level

New song "Accidental Racist," by country singer Brad Paisley and hip hop artist LL Cool J, has been met with love and loathing. It set Twitter ablaze, a few people praised it, but most panned it in 140 characters or less.

"Part of the problem is one, it's bad musically ... the lyrics are also quite bad, and the themes are bad," said Christopher John Farley, senior editorial director of Wall Street Journal's "Speakeasy" culture blog. "So it's a total strikeout on almost every single aspect of a song that you would judge it by."

Brad Paisley is a very talented country artist, one of the few guys driving new country, and you have to respect the work LL Cool J has done on television and some of his past rap work, added Farley.

"But this is obviously an epic fail, and people attacked it because it doesn't take the subject seriously. It wanted to take the subject too seriously, and somehow not seriously enough," said Farley.

"If you're going to address the issue of American slavery, you really have to have new ideas," said Farley.

LL Cool J raps in the song, "If you don't judge my gold chains/I'll forget the iron chains."

"That's ridiculous. I don't want anyone forgetting about the iron chains, and about the Middle Passage, and about American slavery, these are things we can't put aside, and that no rap-hip hop collaboration should tell us to put aside," said Farley.

"Accidental Racist" was doing poorly on iTunes Wednesday, but will likely not affect sales of Brad Paisley's new album, predicted Farley. It may be more damaging, however, to LL Cool J.

"This undercuts LL Cool J's credibility in the hip hop community, even more than it's ever been, being linked to this really terrible collaboration," said Farley.

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