Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” Hits No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100

The song has come under fire for promoting violence and touting racist undertones

jason aldean try that in a small town no 1 billboard
Jason Aldean, photo by Brian Higbee

    Despite its racist undertones and promotions of violence, Jason Aldean’s song “Try That in a Small Town” has risen to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    “Try That in a Small Town” saw the biggest sales week for a country song in over 10 years, according to Billboard. Over the last week, the song received 11.6 million streams, 7.3 million radio listens, and sold 228,000 copies.

    Aldean has marketed “Try That in a Small Town” as an ode to rural communities, where neighbors protect each other from crime and “un-American” things like protesting for civil liberties (lol). Yet, as many have pointed out, the song’s threat to “see how far you make it down the road” should you act up in a town full of Good Ol’ Boys doesn’t read as friendly. Nor does its music video, which was filmed at the site of a 1927 lynching.

    What’s more, this past weekend a viral TikTok video uncovered a previously unreported lyric video that glorifies an attack on an anti-segregationist reporter in a small town in Jim Crow-era Mississippi.


    Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell were among the artists who criticized the track. “I’m from a small town. Even people in small towns are sick of violence. There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence,” Crow wrote, while Isbell challenged Aldean — who is not credited as a songwriter on the single — to write his own music.

    Of course, controversy drives interest which drives streams, which is how “Try That in a Small Town” is now at No. 2 on the charts. How else does the N-word uttering country artist Morgan Wallen continue to dominate Billboard’s charts and award shows?

    It’s not all bad news though: Jung Kook of BTS held off Aldean to claim the No. 1 spot.

Latest Stories