Jason Aldean’s extremely controversial single “Try That In A Small Town,” the video for which was pulled from CMT after being accused of promoting racialized violence and vigilante justice, has hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It had debuted at #2 upon being released to radio (the single originally came out in May). Three country songs now currently hold the top three Hot 100 spots; it’s the first time that’s happened. After Aldean, Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” is at #2, and Luke Combs’ Tracy Chapman cover “Fast Car” sits at #3. This is Aldean’s first #1.
As Billboard points out, the CMT decision, which occurred three days into “Try That In A Small Town”‘s rotation, likely gave Aldean a push. (CMT declined to give a reason for the clip’s removal.) The equally controversial video has since been edited to remove imagery of a Black Lives Matter protest, though Aldean’s label said it was due to clearance issues and not criticism.
Over the weekend, Aldean (again) defended “Try That in a Small Town” while performing at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, comparing the song’s messaging to the way Boston residents unified after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. “The last time that happened was a whole, not a small town, a big-ass town came together, no matter your color, no matter anything. No matter if you’re anything. The whole country and especially Boston came together to find” the people responsible for the bombings,” he said.
Aldean added: “And anybody, any of you guys that would’ve found those guys before the cops did, I know you guys from Boston, and you guys would’ve beat the shit out of them, either one of ‘em. And I’ve been trying to say, this is not about race, it’s about people getting their shit together and acting right, acting like you’ve got some common sense.”