Spotify and Apple Music added “Explicit” tags to Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town”.
The song has been available since May, but a newly released music video for the song sparked controversy online. The song debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, behind Jung Kook’s solo single “Seven.” The controversy also helped the track experience its biggest sales week for a country song in more than 10 years.
Luminate data points to 11.7 million on-demand audio and video streams of the title between July 14th and 20th. That’s a 1,000% increase from the previous week. Prior to the music video’s release week of July 14, the track had only amassed around 987,000 streams in the United States. Digital song sales also increased from 1,000 to 228,000 in the same weeks.
Country Music Television played the music video on its channel for a single weekend before causing an outcry on social media. That’s because the video is set outside the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, where a black boy was lynched in 1927. The video sparked claims that the images used were of a dog whistle advocating lynching. Aldean took to Twitter to address this criticism.
“There isn’t a single lyric in the song that refers to or hints at racial issues — there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t actual news material — and while I can try to respect others for having their own interpretation of a song with music, this one takes it too far,” the country music singer said writes.
Aldean later addressed the online controversy the song sparked during a concert in Cincinnati. “Abandonment culture is one thing, it means you try to ruin your life, ruin everything. One thing I saw this week was a lot of country music fans who could see through a lot of the bullshit, okay?” Aldean told the fans in attendance before beginning the song.