Jason Aldean’s has come under fire for his latest single ‘Try That In A Small Town’, but one TikToker who sought to find the truth amongst the noise has said that she is receiving death threats after debunking Aldean’s claims.
It comes after the track found itself in the midst of controversy, following the release of its music video that led to condemnation from NAACP officials, fellow country musicians and social media users.
The track originally dropped in May, when it was met with little attention, but the music video’s setting and content have resulted in Country Music Television, a country music cable network in the States, pulling the video from the channel.
The video remains on YouTube, where it has amassed nineteen million views at the time of writing.
The video shows Aldean performing in front of Maury County courthouse, located in Columbia, Tennessee, and is the site of a lynching of Henry Choate, a Black man, in 1927, per The Guardian. This shot is mixed with footage depicting protests as being violent, which Aldean claims is all footage from the real American news cycle.
The lyrics of the song came under fire following the attention drawn to it after the release of the music video.
Lyrics facing criticism include: “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, you think you’re tough / Well, try that in a small town / See how far you make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own.”
As well as: “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s*** might fly in the city, good luck.”
However, last week, Aldean shared a post to Twitter dismissing the backlash.
“In the past 24 hour I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” he began.
“These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it – and there isn’t a single 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.”
“As so many pointed out,” he continued, “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.”
Aldean went on to explain his interpretation of the track.
“Try That In A Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbours, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbours, 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 one day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to – that’s what this song is about.”
In the wake of the controversy, Aldean has claimed that all the footage in the video comes from real news clips.
However, TikTok user Destinee Stark went to the lengths of seeking out footage from stock sites to compare, and discovered 2 examples within the first thirty seconds of the video where the footage was ripped from a stock site. One clip comes from a festival in Germany, whereas another originates from a Bulgaria-based stock footage studio.
Altogether, Stark’s videos on the topic racked up over 1.5 million views, but in the wake of this she claims to have received death threats.
“I’m receiving thousands of comments that quite honestly, I can’t possibly keep up with. The context of those comments go far beyond what is considered ‘reasonably harsh criticism,’ and into the dark realm of death threats, death wishes, threats of violence, and just the most degrading, vile comments I’ve ever seen, quite frankly,” Stark told Gizmodo.
“I would encourage everyone who is so angry about my commentary to spend some time reflecting on why it is that they are so angry about what I have to say.”