CMT is retiring Jason Aldean’s “Try That In a Small Town,” which remains available on services like Spotify and Apple Music. The singer defended the song, calling the claims against the title “not only baseless, but dangerous.”
Country singer Jason Aldean defends his controversial song and music video CMT deflatedand described the claims made against the track as “not only baseless, but also dangerous”.
After Aldean released “Try That In a Small Town” in May and debuted the accompanying music video on Friday, it was criticized for promoting gun violence and disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement.
The video shows the burning of the American flag, protests and looting with captions such as “swear at a cop, spit in his face/rope on the flag and set it on fire/yeah you think you’re tough/try that in a small town/see how far you can make it down the road” and “got a gun my grandfather gave me/they say they’ll be rounded up one day/well that shit might fly in town.” , good luck.”
In response to the video being removed from CMT’s rotation on Monday, Jason Aldean denied the allegations against his song in an email tweet the next day.
“In the last 24 hours I’ve been accused of releasing a lynching song (…) and have been confronted with the comparison that I’m (direct quote) not too happy with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only unsubstantiated but dangerous,” Aldean wrote. “There isn’t a single lyric in the song that refers to or hints at race — and there isn’t 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 with music, this one is taking it too far.”
“As so many pointed out, I was on Route 91 — where so many were losing their lives — and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy,” he continued, referencing the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that erupted when Aldean was performing onstage. “No one, myself included, wants to see pointless headlines or families torn apart any longer.”
“‘Try That In a Small Town’ to me relates to the sense of community I had as a kid where we cared about our neighbors regardless of different backgrounds or beliefs,” Aldean explained, “because they were our neighbors and that transcended differences.”
The singer ended his tweet by saying that while many are at odds about “how we’re getting back to a sense of normality,” the desire to “go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night” is what the song is about.