Country Music Television Pulls New Jason Aldean Video

The video for Jason Aldean’s new single Try That in a Small Town has been deleted from CMT’s website because it discusses recent riots and escalating lawlessness in the United States.

Billboard reports the video has garnered 346,000 views on YouTube and features Aldean singing in front of a courtroom amid footage of a burning flag, demonstrators yelling and hitting cops, and stealing from a convenience store.

Later in the video, the words “state of emergency declared in Georgia” appear on a Fox News chyron. Aldean’s video has peaceful imagery, such as a girl playing hopscotch and hoisting the American flag. Some of the song’s critics have pointed out that Aldean seems to be speaking directly to criminals and rioters. 

Billboard states that Neil Thrasher,  Kelly Lovelace, Kurt Michael Allison, and Tully Kennedy composed the song. The song’s lyrics are direct challenges to those who commit crimes such as carjacking, pointing a pistol at a business owner, or showing contempt for law enforcement. The song implies that the repercussions would be harsh since the community would look out for its own if such activities were tried in a small town.

Aldean, who was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, talks in a later stanza about a rifle given to him by his grandfather. He alludes to the roundup plan and raises doubts about its viability.

After CMT pulled his song from rotation on Tuesday, Aldean addressed the backlash on his Instagram.

He said since the song came out in May, he’s been accused of supporting lynching. He argued that such allusions are not only useless but also potentially harmful.

Aldean maintained that he did not intentionally include racial references in the song and just used real news videos.

He said that no one wants to keep reading needless headlines about the destruction of innocent families. 

When he thinks of the phrase “Try That In A Small Town,” he thinks of the sense of community he had as a kid, when everyone looked out for one other no matter where they came from or what they believed.

According to Variety’s reporting, the song’s detractors are angry because Aldean shot the music video in front of the courthouse in Colombia, Tennessee, known for a hanging of a Black man in the 1920s – which is a bit of a stretch.