UPDATE 2:00 P.M. PST: Per Billboard, country music channel CMT has pulled the video from rotation! The rage-stirring visual only lasted a few days on the network before execs apparently decided it was too foul to air.
Jason Aldean has evidently decided to go all-in on disgusting right-wing grievance politics…
The country crooner released a shocking new song and music video over the weekend. In it, he aggressively calls out criminals and gun control advocates while not-so-subtly linking his violent lyrics to a backlash against the massive, nationwide social protests of the last several years.
The new song is called Try That In A Small Town, and to say that the lyrics glorify vengeful vigilantism is putting it really, really mildly. Seriously. This s**t is out of control!!
The song starts off at a ten and then keeps that same tense, aggressive energy throughout. It begins with these lyrics:
“Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalk / Carjack an old lady at a red light / Pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store / Ya think it’s cool, well, act a fool if ya like / Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough”
We really jumped right from threatening violent criminals to threatening people who curse at copse and burn flags fast. Mm-hmm.
Aldean then jumps into the chorus, which boasts about how small-town people supposedly “take care of our own” and watch out for each other against threats of violence that are supposedly all around:
“Well, try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road / Around 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”
In another verse, Brittany Aldean‘s husband concerningly throws out his version of the “come and take it” vibe regarding gun rights, too:
“Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s**t might fly in the city, good luck / Try that in a small town”
And just to put a cherry on top of the whole thing, he adds a couple dog-whistle phrases in later chorus alterations, too.
Those lines include how his small town is supposedly “full of good ol’ boys, raised up right” and how “around here, we take care of our own.” It’s giving Jim Crow, y’all…
But if the song’s lyrics aren’t awful and explicitly violent enough on their own (dude, Jason, have you ever heard of a f**king metaphor?!?!), brace yourself for Aldean’s video.
First released back on Friday before it picked up viral steam this week, Aldean’s band plays the song in front of a government building while footage cuts in showing activists, demonstrators, protesters, looters, and rioters:
It’s hard not to see Aldean is unfairly and incorrectly connecting all 2020-and-beyond social campaigns and public unrest with violent looting and rioting! Plus, the unspoken meaning of using phrases like “full of good ol’ boys raised up right” isn’t exactly leaving much room for his, uhhh, anti-urban meaning.
Seriously, you don’t have to go very far to see some serious undertones in this track harkening back to America’s dark days of public lynchings. And this is going on in 2023?! Really??? TRASH!!!
It’s ironic (and honestly pretty sad) that Aldean takes such a blatant pro-gun angle, too, because he was the one on stage in 2017 in Vegas amid the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Shannon Watts, who runs the non-profit Moms Demand that advocates for sensible gun control, pointed that out via Twitter late on Sunday night:
.@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. pic.twitter.com/hWGdEgS33v
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 17, 2023
Watts was not the only one to react to Aldean’s angry song, either.
One journalist pointed out how Aldean’s location choice for his video shoot was also very, VERY suspect:
Jason Aldean shot this at the site where a white lynch mob strung Henry Choate up at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., after dragging his body through the streets with a car in 1927.
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) July 17, 2023
And as you can see (below), the s**t hit the Twitter fan over the weekend and on into Monday as music fans nationwide caught wind of this insanely pro-vigilante single:
“This is one of the most dangerous, irresponsible videos from a mainstream artist I have ever seen. @Jason_Aldean is openly radicalizing his fans into white nationalist vigilante violence.”
“Fun fact. Jason Aldean cheated on his wife with an American Idol contestant. Guess they do stuff like that in ‘small towns’ too.”
“Having grown up in rural America, I’ll tell you…. They steal, fight, and shoot each other plenty. They don’t need visitors to bring crime”
“heard some talk about jason aldean’s newest song and had to look up the lyrics… are we fr letting this s**t slide?? in 2023??”
“It baffles me that this isn’t some sort of parody — especially after Jason Aldean was on stage during the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 61 people.”
“There is no non-racialized way to write a song about lynching. When Jason Aldean sings, ‘See how far ya make it down the road,’ it invokes a very particular legacy.”
“He’s cosplaying, the town in GA he grew up in has 150k+ population”
“This guy had to release an answer song to Strange Fruit 85 years later. I’m sure it will be a hit at Trump rallies.”
“Just a reminder that Jason Aldean grew up in a city (population approx. 160,000) and now lives in Nashville, TN (population 692,000). He has no idea what ‘happens in a small town,’ he’s just a racist who writes barely concealed lynching songs.”
They ain’t wrong!!
Reactions, Perezcious readers??