“This isn’t a stunt. This isn’t something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that,” he tells Entertainment Weekly. “I’m doing it because it just feels more relevant than it even did a few years ago.”
The track touches on slavery and offers two perspectives. Paisley sings, “[I’m] just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms/Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn,” while the Queens MC responds with “If you don’t judge my do-rag…I won’t judge your red flag/If you don’t judge my gold chains…I’ll forget the iron chains,”
Paisley — whose ninth studio album Wheelhouse hits stores today — says America is still facing issues based on race, especially the younger generation and cited pop culture references. “It really came to a boil last year with Lincoln and Django, and there’s just a lot of talk about it. It was really obvious to me that we still have issues as a nation with this.”
He also says that he understands one track won’t change all. “At the same time, symbols mean things, and I know one thing: 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.”
Read Paisley’s full statement here.