Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That In A Small Town’ Soars in Sales and Streams

According to reports, Aldean’s controversial track sold over 500,000 units in the U.S.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 24, 2023

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Jason Aldean; Photo by Theo Wargo

Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” is reportedly one of the highest-selling songs of 2023 in the United States with its sales from this past week alone.

According to Talk Of The Charts, “Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That In A Small Town’ is already the fourth highest-selling song of 2023 in the US with only its sales over the past week.”

Billboard reported that the song moved approximately 1,000 units per day during the period of July 14 – July 17. On July 18, the day that CMT announced plans to pull the music video from rotation on its platforms, the song sold 12,000. By July 19, it surged to 108,000 in sales and the following day (July 20), the track moved 103,000. 

On Monday morning (July 24), Chart Data revealed that the tune has sold over 500,000 units.

Streams of the song are also skyrocketing.

On July 14, the song “Try That in a Small Town” earned 204,000 official U.S. on-demand streams, followed by a slight decrease to 194,000 on July 15 and 174,000 on July 16. However, there was a significant rise in streams on July 17, with a 24.3% increase to 216,000. The real surge occurred on July 18, with a remarkable 178% jump to 600,000 streams. The momentum continued to rise on July 19, when U.S. official on-demand streams of the song reached a staggering 3.2 million, marking an incredible 440.2% increase, according to a Billboard report.

The surge in sales and streams comes amid controversy surrounding the song and music video.

Social media outrage surrounding the song began after the July 14 release of the “Try That In A Small Town” music video. As the video and song began to circulate online, many social media users accused the singer of being pro-gun and racist. Others dubbed the track a “dog whistle” and believed that the lyrics pushed a right wing agenda.

Aldean Speaks Out

The country star recently broke his silence to address the backlash and defend his song and music video.

“In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” Aldean explained. “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.”

Aldean Shares The Meaning Behind The Song “Try That In A Small Town” In His Own Words

He went on to detail what the song means from his perspective. 

“There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music – this one goes too far.”

Jason Aldean continued, “‘Try That In A Small Town,’ for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.”

YouTube video

He then spoke out on the comments users made about him being the subject of one of the world’s deadliest mass shootings.

“As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91- where so many lost their lives – and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.”

Jason Aldean’s statement was released after social media erupted with comments and criticisms around his music video. 

Jason Aldean; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Jason Aldean; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Accused Of Making A “Pro-Lynching” Song

Many users pointed out that the music video featured a performance recorded in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee. This is the site of the 1927 lynching of Henry Choate, an 18-year-old African American man that was accused of attacking a white woman.

Others were outraged by the news clips in the music video, which included visuals of police brutality and unrest during the height of the pandemic in 2020 as well as scenes of riots and looting that destroyed American cities. 

“I just watched/heard about 45 seconds of the new Jason Aldean video/song and it is absolute right wing propaganda. ‘try that in a small town, we take care of our own’ ok well the small town my wife grew up in knew of abuse and no one did anything,” one Twitter user said. 

Aldean Criticized For Sharing A Pro-Gun Message With The Song’s Lyrics

Another user said the music video “rips into the left-wing riots, soft on crime governance in cities, gun control, and other leftist degradation.” Someone else believes the song is an “ode to a sundown town, suggesting people be beaten or shot for expressing free speech.”

The singer was also criticized for releasing a song with a pro-gun message as he was on stage at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas in 2017 when a gunman shot and killed more than 60 people. To date, this remains the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. 

“Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that shit might fly in the city, good luck / Try that in a small town,” Aldean sings. 

Jason Aldean is currently in the midst of his Highway Desperado Tour. He recently addressed the controversy from the stage in Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“It’s been a long week and I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I’m this, suggesting I’m that,” Aldean told the crowd. “I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want to, it doesn’t mean it’s true. What I am is a proud American. I’m proud to be from here. I love our country [and] I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bulls— started happening to us… love my country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that, I can tell you that right now.”

Immediately following the beginning of his lengthy speech, the crowd began to chant “USA! USA! USA!”

Cancel Culture

He then went on to speak on cancel culture.

“You guys know how it is this day and age, cancel culture is a thing. If people don’t like what you say, they try to make sure that they can cancel you, which means try and ruin your life, ruin everything,” the 46-year-old singer continued. “One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that can see through a lot of the bulls—. I saw country music fans rally like I’ve never seen before and it was pretty bada– to watch. Thank you guys so much.”

Prior to performing the controversial song, “Try That In A Small Town,” Jason Aldean discussed whether or not he would be performing the tune live on this tour.

“I said, ‘You know, people that come to my shows, you guys know what I’m about. You know what I stand for.’ I never shied away from that at all,” he said. “I know a lot of you guys grew up like I did and you have the same values, the same principles that I have, which is we want to take our kids to a movie and not worry about some as*hole coming in there shooting up the theater, right? So when somebody asked me, ‘Hey man, do you think you’re going to play the song tonight?’ The answer is simple. The people have spoken and you guys spoke very, very loudly this week.”

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.