Jason Aldean reveals what he would change about the controversial “Try That in a Small Town” music video if he gave it another go.
“I would do it over again, every time,” said Aldean of the video in a “CBS Mornings” interview before adding, “minus the setting, knowing what I know now, obviously, you know, knowing that that was gonna be a thing, you know, maybe you look at doing it somewhere else.”
The country singer has previously gone to bat for the song and its accompanying visuals, which feature shots of Aldean performing at the site of the 1927 killing of Henry Choate, a Black teen lynched by a Tennessee mob.
Aldean said he didn’t know about the lynching of Choate at the Maury County Courthouse, and he doesn’t “go back a hundred years and check the history of a place” before a shoot.
“It’s also the place that I go get my car tags every year. It’s my county that I live in,” said Aldean, who claimed you’d be “hard-pressed to find” a Southern small-town courthouse “that hasn’t had some sort of racial issue over the years at some point.”
The song, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, also sparked criticism over its lyrics, which include lines such as, “Well, try that in a small town, see how far ya make it down the road” and a warning about crossing “that line.”
Critics have accused the track of being a “pro-lynching song,” while the controversy led to clips of Black Lives Matter demonstrations being edited from the video, which had earlier been pulled from CMT.
Aldean said he knows his “intentions” behind the location, the video and the song before pointing to “people of all color doing stuff in the video.”
He told CBS News’ Jan Crawford, “That’s what I don’t understand. There was white people in there. There was Black people. I mean, this video did not shine light on one specific group and say, ‘That’s the problem.’ And anybody that saw that in the video, then you weren’t looking hard enough in the video, is all I can tell you.”