“Try That in a Small Town,” a controversial song warning anti-American activists that burning and looting won’t be tolerated in small town USA, took the number one spot across all genres on this week’s chart. The rating also led to the first time that country songs claimed the top three spots on a Billboard Hot 100 chart since 1958.
Aldean’s song beat out Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ cover of “Fast Car,” which have remained at or near the top of the chart for the past several weeks. Last week, “Try That in a Small Town” jumped to the number two ranking during its first week on the Hot 100.
“Well, yesterday was a monumental day for @jasonaldean,” the musician’s wife, Brittany, wrote in a Tuesday Instagram post. “#1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart!!…A career first. That sure did backfire, didn’t it?? The best fans EVERRRR.”
Though originally released in May, the song drew significant backlash for its music video that was completed July 14. The visual component included news footage of BLM protests that took place after George Floyd’s death in 2020, including small explosions, spitting on police officers and setting fire to American flags. A courthouse featured in the video was also the site of race riots and a lynching, all of which took place before 1950.
Critics claimed that the song’s message endorsed racism and gun violence with its blunt words promoting patriotism and courage to refuse adherence to liberal agendas. The Country Music Television (CMT) network bowed to the narrative and removed the video from its site.
The drama continued when Fox News threatened Aldean’s production team with a copyright lawsuit unless six seconds of footage — apparently used without completing all the proper steps of requesting and receiving permission from the outlet — were removed from the video. Aldean’s team edited the clip as requested without further issue.
However, the move by Fox led some conservatives to believe the media organization was caving to left-wing agendas and speculation about the network’s possible secret support for BLM.