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VIDEO: Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That In A Small Town’ Tops Charts Despite Backlash, Accusations Of Racism

Nashville, TN – Country music star Jason Aldean’s controversial new song about fighting back against criminals and anti-police rioters skyrocketed to the top of multiple music charts, despite backlash that resulted in the music video being dropped by Country Music Television (CMT) earlier this week (video below).

Critics have accused Aldean, 46, of promoting violence and threatening people who hold anti-American and anti-law enforcement beliefs through his chart-topper, “Try That in a Small Town.”

Aldean said the song is about neighbors standing up for neighbors, especially when someone tries to victimize them or their communities.

“When u grow up in a small town, it’s that unspoken rule of ‘we all have each other’s backs and we look out for each other,’” Aldean tweeted when the video was released on July 14. “It feels like somewhere along the way, that sense of community and respect has gotten lost. Deep down we are all ready to get back to that. I hope my new music video helps y’all know that u are not alone in feeling that way.”

The song put criminals on notice that their behavior won’t be tolerated in small-town America.

“Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalk, carjack an old lady at a red light, pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store… Cuss out a cop, spit in his face, stomp on the flag and light it up,” the lyrics read. “Well, try that in a small town. See how far ya make it down the road. Around here, we take care of our own. You cross that line, it won’t take long for you to find out. I recommend you don’t try that in a small town.”

The song was first released in May, but outrage erupted after the recent release of the corresponding music video, TMZ reported.

Portions of the video were shot at a courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where an 18-year-old black man, Henry Choate, was lynched by a mob in 1927, USA Today reported.

Choate had been accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old white girl and was hanged from the second story of the courthouse, according to Newsweek.

The video also showed footage of anti-police riots, looting, and burning buildings, all of which critics said alluded to the Black Lives Matter movement, TODAY reported.

CMT took the video out of rotation on Monday amid allegations the song was racist and promoted violence.

But that hasn’t stopped the music video from rocketing to the top of multiple charts and platforms.

On Wednesday, it ranked #1 on iTunes for songs in the U.S., #6 on Amazon’s New Releases, and #9 on YouTube for songs in the U.S.

Aldean, who was performing during the Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman murdered 60 people and wounded 800 more, has also been accused of promoting gun violence in the new hit song.

“Got a gun that my granddad gave me. They say one day they’re gonna round up. Well, that s–t might fly in the city, good luck…Try that in a small town…” the lyrics read.

Aldean defended himself in a statement on Tuesday.

“In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” the singer wrote. “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far.”

Aldean said he has never advocated for gun violence.

“As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91-where so many lost their lives- and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy,” he wrote. “NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.”

Aldean said the song is about taking care of one another.

“Try That In A Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences,” he said. “My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.”

Watch the music video below:

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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