Country star Jason Aldean addressed a crowd in Cincinnati blasting cancel culture before playing his song, “Try That In A Small Town.”
The track was released in May, but drew attention when CMT began playing the music video. Online backlash to the song’s lyrics prompted CMT to pull the video and for Aldean to release a public statement via Twitter. Critics have called the song a “modern lynching song” and a tribute to sundown towns that operated throughout the Jim Crow South.
“I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I’m this, suggesting I’m that,” Aldean tells the crowd during his Cincinnati concert on Friday night. “Hey, here’s the thing, here’s the thing—here’s one thing I feel. I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want to, it doesn’t mean it’s true, right? So what I am is a proud American, proud to be from here.”
The crowd broke out into chants of USA! following Aldean’s speech about loving America and his family. He says he wants to see the country ‘restored’ to what it was “before all this bullshit started happening to us.” Aldean also took the time to blast cancel culture and told the crowd “it’s clear a bunch of country music fans” can see what’s happening to him. He also said in the lead up to the concert, many people asked if he would play “Try That in a Small Town” during his set.
“I know a lot of you guys grew up like I did,” Aldean continues in his address to the crowd. “You kind of 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 asshole coming in there shooting up a theater. So somebody asked me, ‘Hey man, you think you’re going to play this song tonight?’ the answer is simple. The people have spoken, and you guys spoke very, very loudly this week.”