CMT Releases Jason Aldean’s Controversial “Try That In a Small Town” Video: Exclusive

CMT has released Jason Aldean’s incendiary video for his new single, “Try That In a Small Town.”


Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean

The visual, which his Broken Bow Records/BMG label released Friday, July 14, was in rotation on CMT until Sunday, July 16, playing in the morning music video hours. It’s unclear how many times CMT played the video before pulling it down on Monday. Other than confirming that the outlet pulled the video, CMT declined to comment on the decision to stop playing the clip.

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The video, which has received more than 346,000 views on YouTube since its release, shows Aldean performing outside the courthouse with an American flag hanging over the entrance. The performance is intercut with footage of a burning flag, protesters yelling and attacking police in various scenarios, and robbing a convenience store. It’s unclear where the footage was taken from, but at one point a Fox News chyron appears with the words “state of emergency declared in Georgia.” Aldean is from Macon, Georgia.

Towards the end, the violent scenes are juxtaposed with Americana images such as a little girl playing hopscotch and a rising flag, as a newscaster’s voice speaks of farmers abandoning their crops to the day to help a neighbour. A shriveled male face appears on screen and says with sincerity, “That’s what this community and a lot of farming communities stand for: Someone needs help, they’ll get it.

Aldean’s representative did not immediately respond for comment.

Written by Kelly Lovelace, Neil Thrasher, Tully Kennedy and Kurt Michael Allison, the song is an often divisive take, with lyrics challenging those who “hijack an old lady at a red light” or “pull a gun on a liquor store owner” or “insult a cop” to try this in a small town and “see how far you go down the road / here we take care of our own.”

In a later verse, Aldean, who was on stage when the worst gun massacre in US history took place at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, sings, “I got a gun my grandpa gave me/ They say someday they gon’ round up/ Well that shit might fly around town/ Good luck.”

The single, which will feature on Aldean’s upcoming album, debuted on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart eight weeks ago and climbed 26-25 for the July 22 chart.

Aldean kicked off a new tour of the amphitheater this weekend. He succumbed to heatstroke during his July 15 show, but will hit the road again on July 20.

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