Jason Aldean Responds To Criticism Of New Song, CMT Pulls Music Video

'The Song Discusses Civil Unrest And Features Themes And References To Small-Town America'

Country artist Jason Aldean responded to critics of his new song “Try That In A Small Town.”

The song was originally released on May 19, though Aldean released an accompanying music video last Friday.

Aldean’s song discusses civil unrest and features themes and references to small-town America. The music video similarly features footage from riots along with other security footage of civil unrest.

Critics pointed towards Aldean’s lyrics detailing a “gun that my granddad gave me” suggesting the song’s title was an open threat while also referencing Aldean’s presence during the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Aldean was performing on stage during the Route 91 Harvest festival as Stephen Paddock reportedly opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of his hotel room at Mandalay Bay.

Country Music Television (CMT) confirmed the music video had been pulled from its network as of Monday, per Variety.

“These references are not only meritless, but dangerous,” Aldean wrote in a Twitter post. “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.”

“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,” the country star said of the 2017 shooting. “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 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. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from.”

“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 go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night,” Aldean concluded. “But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.”

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts criticized Aldean sharing a screenshot of lyrics from his song.

“Jason Aldean – who was on-stage during the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert in 2017 that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more – has recorded a song called ‘Try That In A Small Town’ about how he and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns.”

This song is an ode to a sundown town, suggesting people be beaten or shot for expressing free speech,” she continued in another post. “It also insinuates that guns are being confiscated, the penalty for which is apparently death. Aldean was on stage when 60 of his fans were shot to death and 400+ were wounded.

Fellow country artist Sheryl Crow also criticized Aldean’s song, saying it was “lame.”

“I’m from a small town. Even people in small towns are sick of violence,” she wrote. “There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting.”

This is not American or small town-like. It’s just lame,” she said.

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