Jason Aldean singing into microphone on stage while holding guitar

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After insisting ‘Try That In A Small Town’ isn’t racist, Jason Aldean deletes Black Lives Matter clip from music video

The changes have not been explained.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Jul 26, 2023

Images of a Black Lives Matter protest in Atlanta were quietly deleted from Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” music video amid criticism that the song subtly advocated for vigilante gun violence and vilified the Black Lives Matter movement.

The changes in the video were first reported by the Washington Post.

Aldean has argued there is “not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it,” and said the lyrics are based on “the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief.”

The original version of the music video included a news clip from Fox 5 Atlanta depicting violent confrontations during Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and in January. At one point in the video, a clip from Fox 5 was projected onto a Tennessee courthouse where a Black teenager was lynched in 1927.

The new version still includes footage of Aldean performing in front of that courthouse, but the Fox 5 projection was removed.

The new video features another change besides the removal of the Black Lives Matter news clips. According to the Washington Post, the final 30 seconds of the original video—which featured “idyllic rural footage including a man in a baseball cap and sunglasses looking into the sun, and an older man speaking about small-town values while sitting in a wheelchair”—do not appear in the new version.

It is currently unclear why the clips were removed.

Aldean thanked his fans for their support on Monday, saying he will continue performing the song since “the people have spoken and you guys spoke very, very loudly this week.”

Indeed, fans are supporting the song and right-wing figures have rallied against the “cancel culture” Aldean is facing (such as County Music Television pulling the video out of rotation).

“Good to see country artists standing up to the woke mob,” tweeted one person.

Amid the publicity, “Try That In A Small Town” rocketed to the No. 2 on Billboard’s all-genre Hot 100 chart.

According to Axios, the song sold 228,000 digital singles last week—the largest sales week for a country song in over a decade—as well as reached more than 11.6 million streams and 18 million views on YouTube.

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*First Published: Jul 26, 2023, 11:25 am CDT