CV NEWS FEED // Country music star Jason Aldean faced backlash after releasing a new music video that featured news clips of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests and alleged controversial lyrics.
In May, Aldean released his new single “Try That in a Small Town”, a song that targets weak policing and woke riots in big cities and how the response would be different in a small town.
“Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough / 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,” sings Aldean in the opening lyrics.
Aldean released the song’s music video on July 18 and immediately faced criticism from the left. Country Music Television stopped airing the video soon after its release due to the controversy.
Critics claimed that the song supported lynching and gun violence, citing lyrics that read “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / they say one day they’re gonna round up”.
Critics also voiced concern that the video was shot at the Maury County Court House in Columbia, Tennessee, where an African-American was lynched in 1927 and was the site of the 1946 Columbia Race Riots.
Tennessee State Senator Justin Jones, a Democrat, released a statement condemning Aldean’s video.
“As Tennessee lawmakers, we have an obligation to condemn Jason Aldean’s heinous song calling for racist violence. What a shameful vision of gun extremism and vigilantism. We will continue to call for common sense gun laws that protect ALL our children and communities,” wrote Jones.
Aldean responded to the criticism via Twitter on July 18, writing that the criticism he has received has gone too far and is “meritless”.
“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,” wrote Aldean.
Aldean refuted the gun violence claims, reminding his critics that he was the artist on stage during the 2017 Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
In his Twitter statement, Aldean said he wrote the song to remember the tight-knit community of the small town he grew up in.
“‘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,” wrote Aldean.
Neither Aldean nor Broken Bow Records, the record company that represents Aldean, have responded to a request for comment from CatholicVote.
At the time of publication, “Try That in a Small Town” was the number one song on iTunes.