Sheryl Crow joined the conversation about Jason Aldean’s controversial new song “Try That in a Small Town” and said that he should know better.
Aldean, 46, has been accused of promoting violence with his latest song, which includes the incendiary lyrics: “I’ve got a gun my grandfather gave me / They say one day they’re going to round up / Well that’s — I couldn’t fly in the city, good luck / Try it in a small town.”
As a small-town girl, Crow, 61, a Missouri native, criticized the country singer for giving false impressions.
“@Jason_Aldean I’m from a small town. Even people in small towns are fed up with violence. There is nothing small town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone who has survived a mass shooting,” he said. tweeted.
“This is not an American or small town. It’s just pathetic.
The tweet cited by the singer-songwriter noted that Aldean witnessed a 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert in 2017 during which 60 people were killed and more than 400 injured.
CMT pulled the music video for “Try That in a Small Town”, which sees Aldean performing in front of a courthouse known for lynching, was pulled from CMT’s programming following backlash.
He sings in the first verse: “Hitting somebody on the sidewalk / Mugging an old lady at a red light / Pointing a gun at a liquor store owner / You think it’s cool, well act silly if you want to.”
He continues: “Curse a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, you think you’re tough.”
The “Dirt Road Anthem” singer defended himself against the accusations, writing in a statement posted on Twitter: “In the last 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subjected to to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not very satisfied with the national BLM protests. These references are not only without merit, but also dangerous.”
“There’s not a single lyric in the song that references or points to race, and there’s not a single video clip that isn’t actual news material, and while I can try to respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music, this one goes too far.”
The music video features footage of the protests, including BLM protests, and shows Aldean standing in front of an American flag atop the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, which is where the Columbia race riot of 1946.
The riot nearly led to the lynching of Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice, and the city was also the site of the lynching of 18-year-old Henry Choate in 1927.
In his statement, Aldean added: “Try that in a small town, for me, it refers to the feeling of community I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of origin or beliefs. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any difference.
“My political views have never been something I have hidden from, and I know that many of us in this country disagree on how we return 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 him to, that’s what this song is about.”