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Jason Aldean's 'Try That In a Small Town' music video banned on CMT as song tops charts

"Got a gun that my granddad gave me. They say one day they're gonna round up. Well, that s*** might fly in the city, good luck," the song's lyrics state.

July 19, 2023 11:14am

Updated: July 19, 2023 11:14am

CMT, or Country Music Television, is no longer airing the music video for Jason Aldean's "Try That In A Small Town," even as the song reaches No. 1 on iTunes charts.

The music video, which features Aldean singing in front of a government building with an American flag as footage of rioters and police is interspersed, was released Friday. CMT played it through Sunday before pulling it Monday.

The song, which was released in May, hit No. 1 on the iTunes charts Tuesday, according to iTunesCharts.net. The music video has almost a million views on YouTube as of Wednesday morning.

The lyrics challenge people who "carjack an old lady at a red light, pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store," "cuss out a cop" or light the American flag on fire to "try that in a small town" and see what happens. 

One line also alludes to what would happen in a small town if the government tries to take away people's guns, stating: "Got a gun that my granddad gave me. They say one day they're gonna round up. Well, that s*** might fly in the city, good luck."

The Daily Beast published one of the most high-profile criticisms of the song its article, "Jason Aldean Catches Heat for Racist, Pro-Gun Lyrics: 'a Modern Lynching Song.'"

Aldean addressed the controversy Tuesday on social media.

He said he was "accused of releasing a pro-lynching song" that expressed his displeasure with the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. 

"These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage," Aldean, a supporter and friend of former President Donald Trump, wrote.

Aldean also said that he was performing at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in 2017 when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Las Vegas crowd, killing 60 people.

"NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart," he also wrote. "Try That In A Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief."

While Aldean's song received criticism from some, such as Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, many of the top comments online were positive. 

"Interesting how countless rap songs encourage murder sprees, drug dealing, pimping, and countless other crimes, and they're celebrated by the media, but a video by a country singer about self defense and neighbors looking out for each other is banned," the top comment on the song's YouTube video states.

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck invited Aldean to come on his radio show, adding, "You are not alone."

"You don’t need to explain or defend yourself. I’m sorry they made you feel you had to. I’m glad you didn’t apologize. Don’t," one Twitter user said.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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