Exploring the Political Controversy Surrounding Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That in a Small Town’

In recent years, the intersection of music and politics has become increasingly pronounced, with artists using their platform to address social issues and express personal beliefs. 

Country music, known for its storytelling and reflection of rural life, is no exception. One such example is Jason Aldean’s song “Try That in a Small Town,” which has sparked significant controversy. 

In this article, we delve into the origins of this controversy, analyze the song’s themes, and explore its broader implications within the political landscape.

The Legacy of Country Music and Dark Undertones

Country music has a rich history intertwined with themes of heartache, resilience, and rural life. 

However, beneath its surface lies a darker undercurrent of controversial topics such as vigilantism, gun rights, and societal divides. 

From Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” to Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” country songs have often sparked debate and reflection on complex social issues.

Understanding “Try That in a Small Town”

Understanding "Try That in a Small Town"

At the heart of the controversy is Jason Aldean’s song “Try That in a Small Town,” which offers a gritty portrayal of rural life and the struggles faced by its inhabitants. 

The lyrics depict a narrative of small-town justice and defiance, with themes of pride, resilience, and a sense of community.

In the song, Aldean paints a vivid picture of a small town where residents take matters into their own hands, bypassing traditional law enforcement and resorting to vigilante justice. 

The lyrics evoke a sense of defiance against perceived urban elitism and a desire to preserve the values and way of life cherished by rural communities.

The Recording Process

“Try That in a Small Town” was recorded by Jason Aldean in Macon, Ga., a fitting backdrop for a song that pays homage to small-town America. 

The recording process involved capturing the raw emotion and authenticity of the lyrics, with Aldean’s distinctive voice adding depth and sincerity to the narrative.

Divisiveness of the Music Video

The accompanying music video for “Try That in a Small Town” further intensified the controversy, featuring gritty visuals and provocative imagery. 

Some viewers praised its authenticity and storytelling, while others criticized its glorification of vigilante justice and portrayal of rural stereotypes.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker, the music video depicts scenes of small-town life intercut with dramatic vignettes of confrontation and rebellion. 

The video’s gritty aesthetic and evocative imagery serve to amplify the song’s themes and provoke strong reactions from viewers.

Political Implications

The release of “Try That in a Small Town” coincided with a heightened political climate, with debates raging over issues such as gun rights, rural life, and societal divides. 

The song’s themes struck a chord with listeners on both sides of the political spectrum, leading to heated discussions and disagreements.

Response from the Republican Party

The controversy surrounding “Try That in a Small Town” prompted responses from political figures, including members of the Republican Party. 

Some politicians praised the song for its portrayal of rural values and defiance against perceived urban elitism, while others criticized it for promoting vigilante justice and divisive rhetoric.

Aldean’s Perspective

In interviews, Jason Aldean has defended the song as a reflection of his personal experiences and observations of small-town life. 

He emphasizes the importance of authenticity in country music and rejects accusations of promoting violence or extremism.

Evolution of Country Music

“Try That in a Small Town” is part of a broader evolution within country music, with artists exploring new themes and pushing boundaries. While traditional country music often celebrated small-town life and conservative values, contemporary artists like Aldean are addressing more complex and nuanced topics.

Reactions from Various Parties

The controversy surrounding “Try That in a Small Town” has elicited a wide range of reactions from fans, critics, and fellow musicians. 

Some praise Aldean for addressing important social issues, while others condemn the song for its divisive themes and imagery.

Country Music’s Relationship with the NRA

The controversy surrounding “Try That in a Small Town” has reignited discussions about the relationship between country music and the National Rifle Association (NRA). 

While country artists have traditionally maintained strong ties to gun rights advocacy, recent controversies have prompted reflection and debate within the industry.


In conclusion, Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” has ignited a political controversy that underscores the complex relationship between music, culture, and politics. 

By exploring themes of rural life, vigilantism, and societal divides, the song has sparked intense debate and reflection within the country music community and beyond. As the conversation continues, it is clear that “Try That in a Small Town” will remain a significant and contentious piece of musical and political discourse.

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