County music superstar Jason Aldean was trying to convey a message when he released his recent song, “Try That In A Small Town,” but it wasn’t the message his critics claim he was sending.
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Nevertheless, the song made its recent debut on the Hot 100 chart and swiftly ascended to the top spot. The surge in attention came after network CMT removed the video from rotation, leading to a remarkable 165 pecent increase in streams and 175,000 sales, as reported by Billboard.
This marks Aldean’s 40th entry on the chart, a journey that began on August 13, 2005, with his song “Hicktown.” Before achieving this latest triumph, however, Aldean had only reached the top 10 only once with “Dirt Road Anthem,” which peaked at No. 7 in July 2011, aided by a remix featuring Ludacris.
Alongside Aldean’s track, Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” hold the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.
The video to the song has been criticized with claims it promotes vigilantism and gun violence.
The video features real-life footage of violent riots and crime, largely from the ‘summer of riots’ in 2020, combined with the song’s lyrics, and has been widely criticized for its divisive content.
Despite the backlash, Aldean remained undeterred, and during a concert last month, he directly addressed the crowd with an epic Pro-America rant, and the crowd went absolutely wild.
“Well I gotta tell you guys it’s been a long ass week. It’s been a long week and I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I’m this, suggesting I’m that,” he began. “What I am is a proud American,” he went on as the crowd cheered loudly.
“I love our country and I want to see it restored to what it once was before this bullshit started happening to us. I love my country, I love my family and I’ll do anything to protect that,” he concluded as the crowd roared with approval and began chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”’
🇺🇸 USA Chants Break Out as Jason Aldean Addresses the Media Attacks on Him This Week
“I love our country. I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bullsh*t started happening to us.”
*From last night’s show in Cincinnati, OH (7/21) pic.twitter.com/VKGRIp0PvD
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) July 22, 2023
He also addressed the manufactured controversy on social media previously.
“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 was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only meritless but dangerous,” Aldean wrote in a tweet.
“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,” he said.
Aldean then alluded to his personal connection with mass violence, recalling his performance during the tragic Route 91 Harvest music festival in 2017. During the event, a man opened fire, claiming the lives of 61 individuals and leaving a profound impact on thousands of people.
“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,” he said in a reference to a school shooting in Nashville in March that left six dead.
“NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart. ‘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,” he continued.
“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 got 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,” he said.
“To me, this song summarizes the way a lot of people feel about the world right now. It seems like there are bad things happening on a daily basis, and that feels unfamiliar to a lot of us. This song sheds some light on that.”