‘Try That In A Small Town’ Sees Increased Support Despite Backlash
A country singer is confronting continued controversy over his music video on small-town values. The music video for Jason Aldean’s single “Try That In A Small Town” stirred the pot last week, with leftists smearing the song as an endorsement of racism and violence and conservatives defending it as an anthem to American values. Aldean himself addressed the controversy at a concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. Aldean told concertgoers, “What I am is a proud American. I’m proud to be from here. I love our country, I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bulls*** started happening to us.”
“I love our country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that. I’ll tell you that right now,” he added. The song laments the rise of crime seen lately in urban, largely Democrat-led areas and exhorts Americans to defend their communities, values, and way of life. The music video features news footage from the destructive Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, including rioters firebombing cars and attacking police officers. As The Washington Stand previously reported, Country Music Television (CMT) stopped airing the video days after its release. Although CMT did not publicly provide a reason for nixing the video, leftists have claimed it promotes racially-motivated violence and lynchings. Aldean has vehemently denied any such claims, referring to the criticism as “meritless and dangerous.”
But the leftist-led backlash seems to be waning in the face of support for Aldean. The song has seen a 999% spike in online streams over the past week, landed in the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and claimed the top spot on iTunes. Aldean thanked his fans for the support, tweeting a video with the song playing in the background and featuring clips from concerts. He captioned it, “Thank u guys. Ready to see u back out there this weekend!” During the video, Aldean says to fans, “So, somebody asked me, ‘Hey man, do you think you’re going to play this song tonight?’ The answer was simple. The people have spoken, and you guys spoke very, very loudly this week.”
Aldean has also had support from some big names. As The Washington Stand previously reported, former president Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), and others have backed Aldean, but so have his fellow country music artists. At a recent concert, country star Cody Johnson gave a shout-out to Aldean, saying, “We live in a time where everyone gets pissed off at Jason Aldean for putting out a song. If you’re videoing this, and Jason Aldean if you’re seeing this video, you keep it up, brother.” Alluding to criticism from gun-control activists, Johnson added, “If being patriotic makes you an outlaw, then by God, I’ll be an outlaw.”
Fellow country star Brantley Gilbert also stuck up for Aldean, saying the criticism makes him “mad as hell” and telling fans at a concert, “One of my pet peeves is we live in a world now where nobody gets punched in the face anymore. We’ve got a bunch of keyboard warriors hiding behind cell phones and laptops talking s***.”
Another musician backing Aldean is Mumford and Sons founding member Winston Marshall. Marshall became a victim of cancel culture in 2021, after calling to expose Antifa as a group of violent thugs and political activists who operate with impunity. In an interview, Marshall argued that Aldean’s critics are those who see slavery and racism as America’s “original sin,” while Aldean represents those who seek “to reconcile the dark history of America with the honorable, remarkable, brilliant history of America.” He also criticized the Left’s shifting narrative on what’s violence and what’s peaceful protest or even just free speech, quipping, “I remember the heady days of the summer of 2020 when silence was violence. Well, now it seems that decrying violence is now promoting violence.” Marshall further slammed the cancel culture targeting Aldean:
“So, yes, there’s a kind of culture thing here, and there is a free speech issue as well, which is that young artists who might agree with Aldean but don’t have the money or clout will learn to self-censor. … [I]f they put their head above the parapet, there are consequences. [U]nfortunately, there are gatekeepers in the music industry which keep between artists and the people.”
The ex-Mumford and Sons member said he sees this cancel culture extending to what should be matters of basic human decency, particularly referring to leftist criticism of the film “Sound of Freedom:”
“This is a film about child sex slavery, the great atrocity of our time. Millions of kids sold into sex slavery. … Now the media, the left wing media, the Guardian, they just link it to QAnon. Rolling Stone has done something similar. … For me, that’s where you see some of the liberal media have just completely lost it. That, for me, is morally just so bankrupt that it beggars belief.”
Marshall concluded that leftist pundits and media personalities, like those criticizing Jason Aldean and belittling the child sex-trafficking crisis, no longer speak for Americans but “just represent an elite bubble of diabolical sons of Cain.”
Despite the efforts of leftist cancel culture activists, the “Try That In A Small Town” music video currently has over 19 million views on YouTube and is in the global top 50 music videos on the site.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.