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2 YEARS

LL Cool J Defends 'Accidental Racist': 'I'm Really Proud of It'

The rapper, who appears on Brad Paisley's controversial song about race relations, says art is about "building bridges and breaking the rules."

54th Grammy Awards LL Cool J Host PR Promo - P 2012
Robert Voets/CBS

LL Cool J says if "Accidental Racist" makes you uncomfortable, then he did his job right.

The rapper/actor finds himself at the center of a lively Internet debate over the new Brad Paisley song about North/South race relations.

The song, which has earned scathing critiques from websites like Jezebel and Vulture, features a hip-hop interlude in which LL raps as an African-American being judged by the clothes he wears.

"Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good," goes one lyric. In another, LL calls himself "a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods."

"Music is about, and art is about, connecting different people, and building bridges and breaking the rules," the rapper tells CNN, who caught up with him at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. "If it's not compelling, and it's not complex and it's not interesting, then what are we doing it for? So I think that's the right move."

He adds: "I needed to do something that was going to be interesting like that, and shake things up, and jump out of the box. I'm really proud of it, and I hope the world hears it and enjoys it."

Paisley also defended the controversial song, writing on Twitter, "I hope it triggers emotions."