They claimed the video promotes racism and gun violence as it largely features news clips showing protests, riots and police confrontations in cities, some of which took place during Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Other clips show an attempted convenience store robbery and other apparent crimes. Toward the end, the video showed a brief montage of grainy footage depicting peaceful townspeople and their crops and families.
Some also accuse Aldean, who survived a mass shooting while he performed in 2017, of endorsing lynching as his video backdrop is the Maury County Courthouse, which is the same building where a mob hanged 18-year-old Henry Choate from the balcony in 1927. The teen had been accused of attacking a white girl who never identified him as her assailant, and whose mother begged the mob to let him stand trial.
The producer of the video, TackleBox, said in a statement that the video was shot at a "popular filming location outside of Nashville" that has also been featured in the Lifetime movie "Steppin' Into the Holiday" and Disney’s "Hannah Montana: The Movie." The company also pointed out that the country music artist did not choose the location and said, "Any alternative narrative suggesting the music video’s location decision is false."
U.S. presidential candidate for the 2024 Republican Party primaries Vivek Ramaswamy turned to Twitter to show support and encouragement to Aldean. He said: "Stand strong against these hypocrites and opportunist frauds, @Jason_Aldean. It'd be a real shame if the song hits #1. We'll do our part & play it at our rallies."
Jason Aldean writes a song defending the values that ALL Americans used to share - faith, family, hard work, patriotism - only to be immediately sacrificed at the altar of censorship & cancellation. These are the same people who cheer songs like “Cop Killer” & the glorification… pic.twitter.com/WJ5s3MOI4p
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) July 19, 2023
Another Republican presidential aspirant Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously tweeted that Aldean had nothing to apologize for. "When the media attacks you, you're doing something right," he wrote.
A few days later, Aldean defended himself and stood by his song and its music video. "While I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music – this one goes too far," he added. For him, his song refers to the feeling of community that he had growing up, where everyone took care of their neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief.
"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," he said, adding: "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."
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. These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.…
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) July 18, 2023
Aldean released the song back in May but only launched the music video via YouTube last Friday, July 14. According to USA Today, online critics were already worried about the lyrics.
"Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you're tough / Well, try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own / You cross that line, it won't take long / For you to find out, I recommend you don't / Try that in a small town," the transcribed lyrics said, which according to the artist, is about an "unspoken rule" for those raised in small towns: "We all have each other's backs and we look out for each other."
But Ramaswamy condemned the "cancellers" who have not checked on themselves, first and foremost. "Jason Aldean writes a song defending the values that ALL Americans used to share – faith, family, hard work, patriotism – only to be immediately sacrificed at the altar of censorship and cancellation. These are the same people who cheer songs like "Cop Killer" and the glorification of sex and violence in hip-hop," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, despite the controversy, as of Thursday morning, the song was still available on YouTube and Spotify with more than four million views for each platform. It was also listed as the No. 15 most-played U.S. song on Apple Music as of Thursday morning and the top U.S. song on iTunes on Tuesday, according to TMZ. Aldean has been nominated for five Grammys, twice for best country album in 2012 and 2014. His song "Dirt Road Anthem" was nominated for best country solo performance in 2012.
LeftCult.com has more stories relating to the Left's rampant cancel culture in the country today.