The song drew criticism from State Representative Justin Jones of Tennessee, who accused it of promoting racist violence and advocating for gun extremism and vigilantism. CMT’s decision to pull the video came after mounting pressure from the public and was confirmed by the network through an email statement. However, no official explanation was provided.
In response to the backlash, Jason Aldean defended himself on Twitter, refuting claims that the song was pro-lynching or endorsed violence. He argued that the song’s lyrics do not reference race in any way, and the video clips used are real news footage, not staged portrayals. Aldean expressed concern about the misinterpretation of his song and the potential dangers associated with it.
The country singer clarified that the song was meant to convey the sense of community he experienced during his upbringing, where neighbors supported each other regardless of their differences in background or beliefs. He mentioned that his political views were never concealed and acknowledged the varying opinions on how to achieve a sense of normalcy in the face of ongoing challenges, such as headline-making tragedies and divisive issues.
Addressing concerns about his association with violence, Aldean referred to his performance at the 2017 outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, where he witnessed the tragic mass shooting that claimed many lives. He emphasized that no one, including himself, wishes to see senseless tragedies or families torn apart.
At the time of reporting, BRB Music Group, which represents Jason Aldean, had not responded to media inquiries for comment regarding the controversy.
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.…
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) July 18, 2023
Despite the backlash the song has received, it is still topping charts. On Tuesday, it hit the #1 spot on iTunes for songs in the U.S. It also stays high at #9 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list and the music video on YouTube was trending, reaching #12.