Sheryl Crow is one of the more high profile names calling out country music star Jason Aldean after he dropped the controversial music video for “Try That in a Small Town.” Aldean shot the clip in front of a courthouse in Colombia, Tennessee that is well known for having been the sight of a lynching of a Black man in the 1920s. The lyrics of the song have widely been accused of being pro-gun and pro-violence, claims Aldean himself have denied.
“I’m from a small town. Even people in small towns are sick of violence,” Crow wrote on Twitter in a message aimed at Aldean’s account. “There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting. This is not American or small town-like. It’s just lame.”
CMT has confirmed that it pulled the music video from airing on the network starting Monday, July 17. Aldean used his social media pages on July 18 to defend the song from its many critics.
“In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only meritless, but dangerous,” Aldean wrote.
He continued, “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 -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far. As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91-where so many lost their lives- and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.”
“‘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,” he added. “Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to — that’s what this song is about.”
CMT had no further comment on pulling the music video off air. Variety‘s chief music critic Chris Willman called the track “the most contemptible country song of the decade.”
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