Country Singer Jason Aldean Denies Releasing ‘Pro-Lynching’ Song Amid Backlash

Jason Aldean has taken to social media to defend his controversial song “Try That in a Small Town” after CMT pulled the music video amid accusations that it’s racist and “pro-lynching.”

via Page Six:

“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,” the country singer posted on his Twitter account and Instagram Story Tuesday.

“These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.”

CMT removed the music video from rotation Monday after running it for three days, Billboard confirmed.

However, the network declined to comment on the reason behind the decision.

The controversial music video featured Aldean performing in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., with an American flag draped from the entrance.

After its release last week, fans were quick to point out that the location holds historical significance as the place where an 18-year-old African-American man named Henry Choate was lynched in the 1920s.

Throughout the visual, footage is shown of protesters burning American flags and going head-to-head with police officers, though it’s unclear where the clips where taken from.

“Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough / Well, try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road,” Aldean sings.

“Around 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.”

Variety described the song as “the most contemptible country song of the decade,” while social media users slammed the artist as “a racist who writes barely concealed lynching songs” and a “violent bigot.”

Despite the courthouse’s historical ties to lynching and the videos of protestors, Aldean claimed in his statement that the lyrics of the song — written by Kelley Lovelace, Kurt Allison, Neil Thrasher and Tully Kennedy — do not “point to” race.

“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,” he wrote.

Page Six reached out to Aldean’s rep and the songwriters for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

The country music star further explained that “Try That in a Small Town” refers to the “feeling of a community” he had while growing up.

“We took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief,” he wrote.

“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,” Aldean added.

“But the desire for it to — that’s what this song is about.”

This isn’t the first time the singer has come under fire.

In 2021, the “Dirt Road Anthem” artist was dropped by his publicity firm of 17 years after his wife Brittany Aldean’s transphobic comments.

The controversy began when Brittany posted an Instagram clip, thanking her parents for “not changing [her] gender” during her “tomboy phase” as a child.

“Lmao!! I’m glad they didn’t too, cause you and I wouldn’t have worked out,” Jason responded in the comment section.

After sparking major backlash with the remark, he later came to his wife’s defense when she called parents allowing their trans children to transition “one of the worst evils.”

The criticism of “Try That in a Small Town” comes amid Jason’s Highway Desperado tour, which kicked off July 14.

While performing in Hartford, Conn., on his second day of tour, the musician suffered a heat stroke and was rushed off stage mid-performance.

“Yesterday’s Jason Aldean show will be rescheduled for a future date. We appreciate your patience as we work on rescheduling a new date, as well as the outpouring of well wishes for Jason,” the concert venue shared via Twitter.

We’re not buying it. Jason knows exactly what he meant with those lyrics.

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