Jason Aldean stands by his controversial No. 1 song “Try this in a small town” and its music video showing Black Lives Matter protesters confronting police. At least for the most part.
Two weeks ago, Aldean defended himself on the Coop’s Rockin’ Country Saturday Night podcast, accusing online critics of making the video “into something it’s not.” And in his first television interview about the track on CBS Morningthe Grammy-nominated singer still hasn’t changed his tune.
“The video had people of all colors doing things,” Aldean said in the interview that aired Wednesday morning. “That’s what I don’t understand. There were white people in there. There were black people. I mean, this video didn’t shine a light on any particular group and say, ‘This is the problem.’ And to anyone who saw that in the video, all I can say is you didn’t look hard enough in the video.”
Shortly after the video was posted in July, online users discovered that it had been edited. Aldean’s team told CBS that the clips were used by BLM protesters without permission and had to be removed.
When the video went viral in July, Twitter users (now X) noticed that Aldean and his band were singing in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where a black teenager was lynched in 1927. As for the location, Aldean initially told CBS that he “[doesn’t] Feel Bad” about performing the song in front of a former lynching site and referred to his intentions to shoot there.
“It’s also the place where I get my license plates every year. It’s my county where I live.” He added that he doesn’t “look back hundreds of years and check the history of a place.”
Still, Aldean admitted that he would have chosen a different location if he had known about the history of the place.
“I would do it again every time without the attitude,” he said. “Knowing what I know now, you know that would be a thing, you know, maybe consider doing it somewhere else.”
Before “Try That in a Small Town” exploded on social media and CMT subsequently pulled the video, Aldean said he believed the lyric about guns would spark the biggest controversy. He was partly right – one of the song’s early critics was right Shannon Watts the public safety advocacy group Mom Demands.
“I thought the biggest problem with the song was that it said ‘gun,'” Aldean said, referring to the line, “Got a gun that my grandfather gave me / They say one day they’ll be rounded up.” “ .”
“I didn’t expect it to be this hot,” he added. “And I think that was more because of the video than the actual song.”
Ultimately, all the online criticism of “Try That in a Small Town” seemed to only benefit the song, which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July. The media circus around Aldean should also be well received for his 11th album highway desperado, which contains the burn mark and will be published this Friday.