What started as a seemingly innocent pro-law anthem has now become a battleground of opinions and beliefs within the country music community.
The controversy reached its peak when the music video for “Try That In A Small Town” was unveiled on July 14th. The visuals of Aldean performing in front of a Tennessee courthouse struck a nerve with some, leading to a wave of criticism and outrage. In response, Aldean and his wife released statements to clarify the song’s intended message, but that didn’t quell the storm.
The lyrics of the song in the YouTube music video say, “Got a gun that my granddad gave me. They say one day they’re gonna round up. Well, that sh*t might fly in the city, good luck. Try that in a small town. See how far ya make it down the road. ‘Round here, we take care of our own. You cross that line, it won’t take long. For you to find out, I recommend you don’t. Try that in a small town.”
@brittanyaldean / Instagram
Fellow country stars like Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell openly criticized Aldean, pointing out that he didn’t write the song himself, which only added fuel to the fire. However, some notable figures, including Florida Governor Ron Desantis and former President Donald Trump, came to Aldean’s defense, praising his “small town values” showcased in the song.
The situation escalated further when CMT, once a music video haven, decided to pull the controversial music video from their rotation. This move incited a wave of backlash, with numerous fans of Aldean vowing to boycott the channel in support of their favorite country artist. But it begs the question – does CMT even play music videos anymore?
As the boycott gathered momentum, another player entered the fray – Nashville’s E3 Chophouse. This upscale restaurant, co-owned by Adam LaRoche, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean’s families, made a bold move by publicly announcing their solidarity with Jason Aldean.
E3 Chophouse, a Nashville restaurant owned by former professional baseball player Adam LaRoche, and country music stars Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, took to social media to declare their stance, stating that they would no longer air CMT on any of their in-restaurant televisions until a formal apology was issued and the music video reinstated.
While it may not come as a surprise that Aldean’s restaurant would take a stand in this situation, the move certainly puts additional pressure on CMT. It shows that the controversy is not just limited to the music industry; it’s seeping into other businesses and garnering more attention as the days go by.
As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how CMT will respond to the mounting pressure and whether they will reconsider their decision to pull the video. For now, the boycott shows no signs of slowing down, with fans and businesses alike taking sides.
Jason Aldean’s attempt to bring people together through “Try That In A Small Town” may have inadvertently stirred up division within the country music community. With passions running high on both sides of the debate, it’s unclear when or if this controversy will find resolution. For now, fans of Aldean and Luke Bryan will watch closely to see how this high-stakes standoff unfolds.