Spotify and Apple Music have added ‘explicit’ tags to Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town.”
The song has been out since May, but a newly released music video for the song sparked controversy online. The song debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, behind Jung Kook’s solo single, “Seven.” The controversy also helped the track experience the biggest sales week for a country song in more than 10 years.
Luminate data points to 11.7 million on-demand audio and video streams of the track between July 14 and 20. That’s a 1,000% increase over the previous week. Prior to the July 14 music video release week, the track had only garnered around 987,000 streams in the United States. Digital song sales increased from 1,000 to 228,000 in those same weeks, too.
Country Music Television played the music video on its channel for a single weekend before outcry on social media began. That’s because the video is set in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, where a black boy was lynched in 1927. The video sparked claims that the visuals used were a dog whistle for pro-lynching sentiment. Aldean took to Twitter to address these criticisms.
“There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it—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,” the country singerwrites.
Aldean later addressed the online controversy whipped up by the song during aconcert in Cincinnati. “Cancel culture is a thing, which means try a nd ruin your life, ruin everything. One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that could see through a lot of the bullsh*t, all right?” Aldean told fans in attendance before launching into the song.