Country music star Jason Aldean defended his new song and video after CMT pulled them off the air Tuesday, as his new hit, “Try That in a Small Town,” sparked a frenzy among liberals who described it as “pro-lynching.”
Aldean, 46, released the anti-gun awakening video on Friday, criticizing left-wing antagonists for antics that wouldn’t fly in the South.
Both the lyrics and the video, which intertwined clips of BLM protesters vandalizing cities with lines endorsing traditional values and ‘taking care of our own’, have sparked outrage online.
Aldean addressed his detractors in an Instagram Story Tuesday, denying any anti-black or pro-lynching sentiments and saying people only found out about it now, two months after it was released.
“In the last 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and compared to me (direct quote) not being very happy with the national BLM protests,” he wrote. “These references are not only without merit, they are dangerous.”
Country music star Jason Aldean is speaking out after he sparked controversy with his new song ‘Try That in a Small Town’, which rails against left-wing antagonists and prompted liberals on Twitter to call it ‘pro-lynching’.
“There’s not a single lyric in the song that references or targets race, and there’s not a single video clip that isn’t real news, and while I can try to respect others to have their own interpretation of a song set to music, this one goes too far,” he added.
He added that he was at the Route 91 Las Vegas Harvest Festival, where 61 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in US history, and said that “NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see meaningless headlines or broken families.”
Aldean attempted to explain what he felt the song represented and that it was not necessarily a political message.
‘Try That In A Small Town’, for me, refers to the feeling of community I had growing up, where we looked out for our neighbors, regardless of differences of origin or beliefs. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any difference.
He said knowledgeable people knew him as a proudly pro-Trump conservative, but wanted to share a message of unity.
“My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know many of us in this country disagree on how we return to a sense of normalcy where we go at least one day without a headline to keep us up at night. But the wish that… that’s what this song is about.”
A CMT spokesman confirmed to Billboard the video had been pulled from the airwaves. Aldean has not ruled on the chain’s decision.
Aldean opens the song: ‘Curse a cop, spit in his face.’ He steps on the flag and lights it up. Yeah, do you think you’re tough? Try it in a small town.
The music video was met with backlash among some who felt the lyrics were dog whistle intended to offend, while others saw it as a comment on America’s deep divisions.
In the music video, Aldean sings before a large white property and an American flag intertwined with clips of BLM protests.
The country music star used footage from the Black Lives Matter riots for the divisive song.
Aldean took aim at awakened activists for acting like “dummies,” in particular condemning the series of BLM protests that have sprung up across the United States following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020.
The riots resulted in billions of dollars in damage and raised questions as to why such large numbers of people were willing to break the law, with Aldean feeling the riots were because people had not been “bred up right”.
“Hit someone on the sidewalk, steal an old lady’s car at a red light,” he sings. ‘Pointing a gun at a liquor store owner: you think he’s cool, well, play dumb.
‘See how far you go down the road. Around here, we take care of our own. If you cross that line, it won’t take you long to find out. I recommend you don’t try that in a small town.
One line caused particular offense among some gun-hating listeners, where Aldean sang: “Got a gun my granddad gave me, they say one day they’re gonna gather…well that shit might fly in town, good luck.”
While any reference to guns is seen by some as ‘crossing the line’, Aldean’s gun lyrics were also deemed insensitive given their connection to the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting.
The 46-year-old ended the song by paying homage to Southern values, noting that small towns are “full of good, well-educated boys.”
If you’re looking for a fight, try that in a small town.
The song received mixed reviews, with liberal listeners feeling that the promotion of southern norms and the Aldean riots were far-right affronts, while fans found it difficult to disagree with their traditional values.
When not showing footage of the BLM protests, Aldean was seen in the divisive music video singing in front of a large white property.
The song made repeated references to the BLM protests. Pictured: NYPD officers block the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge as protests erupted in New York City on June 2, 2020.
A Pittsburgh police vehicle burns during a march in Pittsburgh, Saturday, May 30, 2020.
Aldean posted on Twitter to celebrate the release of his new song to the public on July 14.
Taking to Twitter after the song’s release on Friday, Aldean said the hit was inspired by the small-town “unspoken rule” to “we all support each other and look out for each other.”
“It seems that somewhere along the way, that sense of community and respect has been lost. Deep down, we’re all ready to get back to that,’ she added.
“I hope my new music video helps you know you’re not alone in feeling this way.”
Fans of the hitmaker were quick to praise the conservative-tinged tune, with one calling it “absolutely epic.”
“(Aldean) breaks with leftist riots, softens the governance of crime in cities, gun control and other leftist degradations,” they added.
“You have to try to take offense at this,” another added, with fans of the country music star agreeing that his focus on traditional values should be deserved.
However, those on the other side of the aisle were quick to condemn Aldean for his Republican views. In 2021, the singer also caused offense after dressing his young daughters in anti-Joe Biden merchandise.
A disgruntled former fan said: ‘Wow. I really liked his music, but when I found out how conservative he was, that was it.
Another accused Aldean of being disingenuous, since the singer’s $100 million net worth doesn’t qualify him to sing about small-town life.
“The funny thing about Jason Aldean is that he recently left a house that had a bowling alley, an outdoor kitchen and a giant fountain for an even better house in the heart of Nashville,” they said.
‘So miss me with this shit about your little town full of nice guys.’