Jason Aldean Defends Controversial Song “Try That in a Small Town”

Jean Nelson, Depositphotos

Jason Aldean defended his controversial song “Try That in a Small Town” during a gig over the weekend in Cincinnati.

Aldean’s song “Try That in a Small Town” has been accused of promoting gun violence and taking aim at the Black Lives Matter movement, although it should be noted that despite the criticsm the song does not mention BLM or race at all and uses all real news footage.

On Friday night at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center, the country singer defended his song and lyrics.

“I gotta tell you guys, man, it’s been a long-ass week,” he told the crowd, according to a video posted online. “It’s been a long week, and I’ve seen a lot of stuff. I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I’m this, suggesting I’m that. Here’s the thing, here’s one thing I feel. I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want to — doesn’t mean it’s true, right?”

“What I am is a proud American,” he said. “I’m proud to be from here. I love our country, I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bullshit started happening to us. I love our country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that. I’ll tell you that right now”, Aldean told his fans during the event.

Aldean received cheers from the audience as well as chants of “U.S.A.”

Aldean then addressed cancel culture and CMT pulling his video.

“Cancel culture is a thing … which means try and ruin your life, ruin everything,” he was quoted as saying. “One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that could see through a lot of the bullshit, all right? I saw country music fans rally like I’ve never seen before and it was pretty badass to watch, I gotta say.”

“The answer is simple,” he said. “The people have spoken and you guys spoke very, very loudly.”

Aldean also defended the song in a tweet recently.

“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. 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.”

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. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.”

Aldean’s tweet continued with “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. 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.”

One of the common accusations of the video is that it was filmed at a lynching site. But Jason Aldean isn’t the only one to film here.

TackleBox, the company that produced the music video, noted several movies and other music videos that have been filmed there. The filming location, the Maury County Courthouse, is actually a very popular site for movies. Mario Lopez’s movie “Steppin’ into the Holiday” and Miley Cyrus’ “Hannah Montana: The Movie” was filmed at the famous location.

TackleBox also noted that the location was featured in a Runaway June music video for their 2019 song “We Were Rich,” and the 2022 Paramount holiday film “A Nashville Country Christmas” with Tanya Tucker.

TackleBox addressed the decision to pick this particular filming location, claiming that it is a popular filming location and that “Any alternative narrative suggesting the music video’s location decision is false,” the company said.

In an exclusive statement to Entertainment Tonight, Silva’s TackleBox Films noted that Aldean did not choose the filming location.

After CMT pulled the music video, the song shot to number one on iTunes charts while also topping the platform’s video rankings and showing up on YouTube’s trending music videos page.


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