Jason Aldean defended his controversial song “Try That in a Small Town” during a concert over the weekend in Cincinnati.
Aldean’s song has been criticized for promoting gun violence and targeting the Black Lives Matter movement. The video, which was posted just over a week ago, has been taken down by CMT.
On Friday night at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center, the country singer defended his song and lyrics.
“I’ve got to tell you, man, it’s been a long week,” he told the crowd, according to a report. video posted online. “It’s been a long week, and I’ve seen a lot. I have seen many things that suggest that I am this, that suggest that I am that. Here’s the thing, here’s the thing I feel. I feel like everyone is entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want, it doesn’t mean it’s true, right?
Aldean went on to point out his pride in his country.
“What I am is a proud American,” he said. “I am proud to be from here. I love our country, I want to see it restored to what it was before all this shit started happening to us. I love our country, I love my family and I will do anything to protect that. I’ll tell you right now.”
Aldean received cheers from the audience, as well as chants of “USA.” Dispatch.
“Cancel culture is one thing… which means trying to ruin your life, ruin everything,” he was quoted as saying. “One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans who could see a lot of the nonsense, okay? I saw country music fans come together like I’ve never seen them before and I have to say it was pretty incredible to see.”
Aldean added that he had been asked if he would perform the song that night.
“The answer is simple,” he said. “The people have spoken and you spoke very, very loudly.”
Aldean then played the song.
The music video features the burning of the American flag, protests, looting and more, with Aldean performing outside the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where Henry Choate, an 18-year-old black man, was lynched in 1927 after he was accused of assaulting a white woman.
The song’s lyrics include: “Curse a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah you think you’re tough / Well try it in a small town / See how far you get.” Aldean then sings in the song: “I’ve got a gun my grandfather gave me/ They say one day they’re gonna gather/ Well that shit might fly in town, good luck.”
Aldean denied the accusations against his song in a tweet.
“In the last 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a song in favor of lynching… and I was the subject of the comparison that I (direct quote) was not very satisfied with the BLM protests across the country. These references are not only without merit, they are dangerous,” he wrote. “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 actual news material, and while I can try to respect others to have their own interpretation of a song set to music, this one goes too far.”