Jason Aldean recently faced criticism for his latest music video, ‘Try That In A Small Town,’ which reportedly underwent re-edits to remove controversial clips featuring the Black Lives Matter movement protests.
Released in May, the music video premiered on July 14 and quickly sparked intense debate. Filmed outside the historically significant Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where a Black teenager, Henry Choate, was lynched in 1927, the song’s lyrics have been accused of targeting the Black Lives Matter movement.
The lyrics suggest that actions like rioting after George Floyd’s death in 2020 would not occur “in a small town.” Specific actions mentioned in the song, such as “car-jacking an old lady,” “pulling out a gun on the owner of a liquor store,” and “cussing out a cop,” are said to be unlikely in small towns.
The backlash prompted subtle re-edits to the music video, as reported by The Washington Post. The revised version appears to be six seconds shorter, with footage of BLM protests from Fox 5 Atlanta removed. Neither Aldean nor his team responded to questions about the re-edit, and Fox has not confirmed if they granted permission for their footage’s use.
Despite the criticism, the song managed to debut at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, garnering both support and curiosity from audiences. Renowned musician Sheryl Crow criticized Aldean, asserting that the song is not reflective of American or small-town values, deeming it “lame.”
On TikTok, a woman uploaded a series of videos critiquing the song, which allegedly led to her receiving death threats.
In response to the backlash, Jason Aldean defended himself, refuting accusations that the song is pro-lynching or opposed to the nationwide BLM protests. He clarified that the song represents his experiences growing up in a close-knit community and argued that it does not reference race. Aldean emphasized that the video clips featured authentic news footage.
Addressing his political views, Aldean stated that he has never hidden them and acknowledged that differing opinions exist on how to achieve a sense of normalcy amid ongoing headline-making events. He asserted that the song reflects a desire for normalcy, aiming to unite listeners in their hope for a better future.