As the race for the Republican party’s presidential nomination heats up, country singer Jason Aldean’s current single “Try That In a Small Town” has found itself at the center of a swirling controversy.
The song, released in May, takes a bold stance on rioting, looting, and gun control, raising eyebrows and eliciting both praise and criticism from different corners of society.
The lyrics of the song in the YouTube music video say, “Got a gun that my granddad gave me. They say one day they’re gonna round up. Well, that sh*t might fly in the city, good luck. Try that in a small town. See how far ya make it down the road. ‘Round here, we take care of our own. You cross that line, it won’t take long. For you to find out, I recommend you don’t. Try that in a small town.”
Accusations have arisen online, with some alleging that the song and its video feature racist elements, prompting CMT to pull the video from rotation. Others have criticized the timing of a pro-gun anthem coming from Aldean, especially considering his association with the tragic 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre in Las Vegas.
Amidst the furor, Aldean staunchly defended the song in a social media statement, dismissing the accusations as “not only meritless, but dangerous.” He pointed out that the video incorporates real news footage, and the lyrics themselves do not reference race.
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
The controversy has drawn the attention of other prominent figures in the music and political spheres. Singer Sheryl Crow tweeted her disapproval of the song, while Travis Tritt came to Aldean’s defense, supporting the singer’s right to express his viewpoint.
For the record, I love the new @Jason_Aldean single, “Try That In A Small Town”. IMO, this song isn’t promoting violence as some have suggested. It is simply expressing a point of view that many American people share which is against the obvious violence that we have seen from…
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) July 19, 2023
Now, joining the fray is Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who recently tweeted his support for Aldean, saying the country singer has “nothing to apologize for” and that media attacks often indicate one is on the right track.
With other Republican candidates like Vivek Ramaswamy voicing their backing for Aldean, the debate over the song shows no sign of slowing down.
Meanwhile, there’s one notable absence from the discussion: former President Donald Trump, a close friend of Aldean’s. While he has yet to issue a statement on the controversy, given the support from rival candidates, many are speculating that we may hear from him soon.
As Jason Aldean‘s “Try That In a Small Town” continues to climb the charts, the debate surrounding it continues to captivate the public’s attention.
It remains to be seen how this controversy will impact Aldean’s music career and whether other political figures will weigh in on the divisive song. Whatever happens next, it’s clear that Aldean’s message has struck a chord with audiences and stirred passions across the nation.