Jason Aldean Criticized for New 'Try That in a Small Town' MV

By Patricia Anderson July 18, 2023

A backlash ensues as controversial lyrics and video content in Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" spark heated discussions on racial tensions, community unity, and gun rights.

In the wake of his abrupt departure from a concert stage owing to intense heat exhaustion, the country singer Jason Aldean is now in the grip of a different and rather more controversial conflagration. This uproar has been lit by his newly-released music video and its accompanying track, "Try That in a Small Town."

Following his sudden exit from the concert, the recent release of Aldean's music video has fanned the fires of public outrage. The song, which forms part of Aldean's upcoming album, includes potent lyrical imagery, compounded by contentious video footage. The result: a storm of criticism on social media.

At the heart of the song, Aldean's verses touch upon inflammatory scenarios, such as the denigration of a police officer, desecration of the national flag, and unabashed comments about gun ownership. These lyrics have been set to video clips depicting scenes of social chaos and riots, evoking memories of recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Contrasted against the midsized-town backdrop of Aldean's hometown, Macon, Georgia, the video also echoes violent scenes from less enlightened times. Reaction on Twitter was both immediate and harsh, with Aldean accused of cynically exploiting divisive issues to provoke a response.

Rebutting his critics, Aldean insists the video is designed to rekindle a lost sense of community and mutual respect. Nonetheless, his defence has done little to stem the tide of condemnation. Claims of dog-whistle pandering and incitement are rife among his detractors.

Accusations of veiled racism and historical indifference abounded on social media. Aldean's pro-gun message also stoked the criticism. Additionally, questions were raised over his decision to film at a site linked to past racial hostility.

Aldean, who was performing on the stage during the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting, has also been reprimanded for his insensitive remarks about gun ownership. These objections form the latest in a line of music-related controversies for Aldean, ranging from accusations of racial insensitivity to his wife's previous transphobic comments.