In the midst of a heated conversation about promoting violence through music, Sheryl Crow has stepped forward to call out fellow country star Jason Aldean. The controversy centers around Aldean's song “Try That in a Small Town,” which has sparked outrage and accusations of endorsing violence.
Crow, hailing from a small town herself, expressed her concerns on Twitter, directly mentioning Jason Aldean. She tweeted, “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.”
The singer-songwriter continued, emphasizing that such sentiments were neither reflective of American values nor small-town virtues. She stated, “This is not American or small-town-like. It's just lame.”
The tweet included a reference to the tragic mass shooting incident in 2017, when Aldean was performing in Las Vegas. The shocking event claimed the lives of 60 people and left over 400 concertgoers injured.
In response to the backlash, CMT has removed Aldean's music video for “Try That in a Small Town” from their programming. The video had been filmed in front of a courthouse with a dark history of lynchings, adding to the controversy surrounding the song's lyrics.
The contentious lyrics include lines like, “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.” Another part of the song features Aldean singing, “got a gun that my granddad gave me, they say one day they're gonna round up, well, that shit might fly in the city, good luck.”
Despite the growing criticism, Jason Aldean has defended his song, denying that it encourages pro-lynching sentiments. He stated that there isn't a single lyric in the song that references race, and the video clips included in the music video are real news footage. He did, however, acknowledge that people may interpret the song differently, but maintained that it was not intended to promote violence.
Aldean's explanation on Twitter shed light on the song's inspiration, referring to the sense of community he experienced while growing up. He emphasized the importance of taking care of neighbors regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs, as they were all part of the same community.
As the debate rages on, the music industry faces questions about artistic expression, social responsibility, and the impact of lyrics on listeners. The conversation around Aldean's song has sparked discussions about the power and influence that music holds in shaping societal norms and values.