After suffering a heat-related medical incident during a concert over the weekend, country superstar Jason Aldean is taking more heat (albeit on the internet) for a song that targets the likes of Black Lives Matter protest – if not the entire urban population.
Last Friday, the Grammy-nominated singer released the music video for his recent single “Try That in a Small Town”. As the title suggests, the three-minute ballad is an overt warning to exhibitors not to attempt their social justice cinema in the rural South.
Apparently, Aldean wasn’t too happy with BLM protests across the country for the police-involved murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020, as evidenced by the poignant new song. The track is not only a statement on Aldean’s personal politics, but a disturbing call to arms, to do Toby Keith’s iconic post-9/11 song looks rather quaint in comparison.
“Cuss out a cop,” Aldean sings in the first verse. “Sit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, you think you’re tough / Try that in a small town.”
The chorus continues, “Look how far you go down the road / Around here, we take care of our own / You cross that line / it won’t take long / To find out, I suggest you don’t / Try it that’s in a small town.”
Elsewhere, Aldean praises the “good boys” of the South who were “raised right.” In perhaps the song’s darkest lyrics, he suggests that he’s preparing for some kind of race war: “I got a gun that my grandpa gave me / They say one day they’re gonna get together.”
If the lyrics weren’t enough, the new music video for “Try That in a Small Town” it shows Aldean and his band playing in front of a white city building with an American flag hanging from it. The rest of the video features footage of looters and rioters, including a Fox News broadcast during the 2020 riots that took place in Aldean’s native Georgia.
Around the same time Aldean was making headlines for his near-fall on stage over the weekend, Twitter and TikTok users began criticizing his latest track. racist dog whistle and promote vigilante violence. There are many of them interpretation the song as pro-lynching.
Others — like Shannon Watts, founder of the public safety advocacy group Moms Demands — have called out Aldean for encouraging gun violence despite his proximity to the deadliest mass shooting in modern-day US history, which happened while he was performing. at a music festival in Las Vegas in 2017.
The last time Aldean was in hot water on social media for his conservative politics, it was during a feud involving fellow country singer Maren Morris. The pop-country star referred to his wife, Brittany Aldean, as a “Barbie insurrectionist” after she made transphobic comments on Instagram. During concert in Nashville last OctoberAldean name-dropped Morris during an improvisational piece, which had the crowd laughing audibly.
Morris has been consistently vocal about racism and xenophobia within the country music community, so we can’t help but expect her to have some kind words for Aldean’s trashy new song.