PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Born and raised in Glen Dale, W. Va., Brad Paisley’s parents still live in a house on what is now “Brad Paisley Boulevard” — he is a southern man.

On his newest album, “Wheelhouse,” he strikes at the heart of a what he sees as a still uneasy peace between blacks and whites, in a song called “Accidental Racist.”

These are some of the lyrics:

“‘Cause I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the southland/just like you I’m more than what you see.”

In the song, Paisley wrestles with race issues and the lessons learned in history books and LL Cool J raps out his perspective:

“Dear Mr. white man, I wish you understood what the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the hood.”

The people in Glen Dale know about the controversy, but this, afterall, is Brad Paisley’s hometown.

“I love Brad Paisley! He’s a really good singer and artist,” says Elizabeth Huff.

KDKA caught up with Nicole Shipman’s “Agriculture and Environmental Education” class from John Marshall High School, who weighed in on Paisley’s new track.

“I think that he’s trying to make a statement that we can all live on this world together and not have to segregate and try to be different,” Shipman said.

But Jessica Sall is more cautionary.

“I think it’s a little risky, because most of the racist people are going to hate him now,” she said. “But the people who understand it are really gonna like it.”

As for Troy Fonner, “Bringing people together – that’s what music’s done for hundreds of years.”

  • Listen to Y108’s Stoney Richards talk about Paisley’s new song:

In his 14 years of making music, Brad Paisley has taken unconventional paths before. He believes that, “art should promote discussion.”

His father, Doug Paisley, declined to comment on the controversy, preferring to let his son do the talking.

Critics Call Brad Paisley’s Accidental Racist The Worst Song Ever
Brad Paisley Calls ‘Accidental Racist’ One Of His ‘Proudest Moments As A Songwriter’
Brad Paisley Addresses ‘Accidental Racist’ Controversy On Twitter And ‘Ellen’
More Entertainment News
More West Virginia News

Watch & Listen LIVE