Despite many lambasting its accompanying music video for allegedly suggesting gun violence and spreading racism, Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” has become the biggest hit of his career.
The controversial single has skyrocketed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart while sitting at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100, marking Aldean’s highest-charting single on the chart. It sold 228,000 digital copies after selling only 1,000 units before the controversy, which Billboard said is the “biggest sales week for a country song” in over a decade.
After the chatter about the song exploded online, CMT pulled “Try That in a Small Town” from its rotation – with the clip only having around 350,000 views on YouTube. As of writing, it’s been surprisingly viewed 23 million times. Meanwhile, it also gained over 11 million streams – a thousand percent increase from the week before.
The Wrath Surrounding “Try That In A Small Town”
Jason Aldean released “Try That in a Small Town” in May 2023 as the lead single of his upcoming studio album. The song was written by Kelley Lovelace, Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, and Neil Thrasher, which lyrics warn criminals, like would-be carjackers, not to “try that in a small town” filled with “good ol’ boys” and armed residents.
On July 14, the music video accompanying the song was also released, proving to be even more explosive. Many music fans pointed out Aldean and his band performing the song with Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, in the background.
It is actually where African American teenager named Henry Choate was lynched in 1927 after he was accused of attacking a white woman. It’s also the same courthouse where a violent race riot happened in 1946.
Others were also outraged by how the music video was filled with clips of crime, looting, police brutality, and even Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Atlanta.
On the other hand, Aldean defended “Try That in a Small Town,” saying that it’s actually a celebration of small-town values and that it is in no way about any cultural group or ethnic origin.
Well, you can play the music video for Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” below to see it for yourself.