Sheryl Crow has become one of the first country stars to publicly speak out against Jason Aldean’s recently-released song, “Try That In A Small Town.” Although the track came out in May, more eyeballs have been on it following the July 14 release of the music video, which was filmed at the site where the lynching of Henry Choate, a Black man, took place in 1927. Sheryl tagged Jason directly on Twitter with her response to the controversial song. “I’m from a small town,” she wrote. “Even people in small towns are sick of violence. There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting. This is not American or small town-like. It’s just lame.”
.@Jason_Aldean I’m from a small town. Even people in small towns are sick of violence.There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting.
This is not American or small town-like. It’s just lame https://t.co/cuOtUO9xjr
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) July 19, 2023
One of the song’s most controversial lyrics seems to call out the push for better gun control laws following years of mass shootings in the United States. “Got a gun that my granddad gave me,” Jason sings. “They say one day they’re gonna round up. Well, that s*** might fly in the city, good luck. 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 try that in a small town.”
As Sheryl — and many others on social media — pointed out, Jason was performing at the Las Vegas Route 91 music festival in 2017 when a gunman opened fire and killed 60 people. Considering Jason has never shied away from publicly expressing his political views, his apparent pro-gun stance is not surprising, but the lyrics and music video that seemingly threaten violence have taken things to another level. CMT even pulled the music video, which also seemingly called out Black Lives Matter protestors, from being played on its airwaves.
However, Jason defended the song and video in an Instagram Story on July 18, insisting that it was not racially charged or pro-lynching. “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous,” he wrote. “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 continued, “As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91, where so many lost their lives, and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.” He then explained how HE interpreted the controversial song. “[It] refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background of belief,” Jason explained. “Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. 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. But the desire for it to — that’s what this song is about.”
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