They say any publicity is good publicity…
And Jason Aldean‘s newest single, “Try That In a Small Town” has been getting plenty of publicity.
Released in May and written by Kelley Lovelace, Kurt Allison, Neil Thrasher and Tully Kennedy, the song takes a direct shot at rioting and looting in big cities while also taking a strong stance on gun control:
“Got a gun that my granddad gave meThey say one day they’re gonna round up Well, that sh*t might fly in the city, good luck
Try that in a small town
See how far ya make it down the road
‘Round 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
Try that in a small town”
He released a video for the song last week that features imagery of riots and looting from around the world, while Aldean sings in front of the Maury County courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee.
But many online have accused the outspoken country singer of featuring racist lyrics and imagery in both the song and video, with the outcry leading CMT to pull the video from their rotation. And still others cried foul on a pro-gun anthem coming from the headliner of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, after Aldean was on stage when the massacre broke out in Las Vegas in 2017.
In a statement released on social media, Aldean called the accusations “not only meritless, but dangerous,” pointing out that the video features real news footage and none of the lyrics reference race.
And his wife Brittany also addressed the controversy in a post on her Instagram stories, accusing the media of twisting the story to fit their “repulsive narrative,” while also adding that they should focus on real issues such as child trafficking.
So yeah, as Ron Burgundy would say, this has escalated quickly.
But as the controversy grew around the song, “Try That In a Small Town” also shot up the iTunes charts, and by Tuesday evening found itself at the top of the all-genre chart, beating out other streaming giants like Luke Combs’ cover of “Fast Car” and “Last Night” by Morgan Wallen, both of which aren’t even in the top 5 as of this writing.
The video is also at the top of the iTunes music video chart, beating out multiple videos from Taylor Swift as well as Chris Stapleton’s incredible performance of the Star Spangled Banner from the Super Bowl this year.
For a song like this, which has flown mostly under the radar since its release, to reach the top of the iTunes charts nearly two months after it came out, it seems that it’s clearly benefiting from the increased attention – even if all of that attention isn’t positive.