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CMT pulls Jason Aldean’s video ‘Try That in a Small Town’



CMT has removed Jason Aldean’s latest music video, “Try That in a Small Town.” The country star’s video contains incendiary lyrics and imagery of protests and violence.

“Try That in a Small Town” is a song that finds Aldean sending an implicit warning that people who rob convenience stores, attack police, or burn flags may face retaliation. The video shows Aldean and his band performing the song in front of a courthouse as images of protests, flag burnings and violence recur on screen.

The video premiered on CMT on July 14, according to Billboard. While the video played the morning of July 16, CMT removed the recording from its rotation the following day. The network confirmed that the video was pulled but did not explain why.

Aldean’s lyrics express that those who participate in activities like swearing at law enforcement or holding up a store at gunpoint do so out of cowardice, implying they could only get away with it in larger cities:

“Well, try that in a small town,
See how far ya make it down the road,
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.”

Aldean continues the thinly veiled threatening language, with lines like, “got a gun that my granddad gave me/They say one day they’re gonna round up/Well, that sh*t might fly in the city, good luck.”

More of the song implies that small towns are “Full of good ol’ boys, raised up right/If you’re looking for a fight/Try that in a small town.” Toward the end of the video, these lyrics are juxtaposed with images of kids playing hopscotch and a man raising the American flag on a pole.

Aldean expressed his interpretation of the song, written by Kurt Allison, Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher and Tully Kennedy, via Twitter, according to CNN. He said the song “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.”

Aldean continued, “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.”

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