By contrast, a few years back I was fascinated by this OTHER encounter between hip hop and country:
I was so fascinated by "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," in fact, that it ended up being the subject of my first major scholarly publication. In it, I talk about how country music actually IS black music, and how subtly fucked up it is when country musicians consider themselves to be making a generous gesture when they reach out to black people or black culture in any way. And of course I try to make clear that, despite some public interpretation to the contrary, "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" isn't actually any kind of attempt to reconcile country and hip hop - it's a country parody OF hip hop.
So, compared to that? "Accidental Racist" is a step up. I can see why people are getting upset, but I guess I'm inclined to give Paisley the benefit of the doubt. I have no frame of reference for what he's saying - where I live and work, wearing a Confederate flag for any reason would probably get you worked over pretty quick, so it's hard to imagine doing it just because you're a Skynrd fan, but at least it feels like he's TRYING to be honest and engaged.