Jason Aldean’s anti-woke anthem shoots to No. 1 on iTunes after CMT pulls video

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First there was “get woke, go broke.” Now there’s a flip side — “get canceled, top the charts.”

Country star Jason Aldean’s song “Try That in a Small Town” had its video pulled by CMT earlier this week after days of attacks accusing it of racism and gun fetishism.

By Wednesday, the song had hit No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes chart, according to Billboard magazine.

According to the Western Journal, CMT dominates programming of country music videos and concerts but it “surrendered almost preemptively to screeching from the left to pull Aldean’s video from its rotation.”

CMT has made no public comment on pulling the video beyond conforming to multiple news outlets that it had done so.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, exulted in the news.

“Whenever they try and censor us, we only go stronger. Time for CMT to get the Bud Light treatment,” she wrote on Twitter.

One Twitter user responded with a GIF of Barbra Streisand and the word “oops,” referring to what’s been called “the Streisand effect,” a term used for when efforts to hide or censor information backfire by raising awareness of that information.

The song, backed by a video that went online last week, skewers the riots and rampant crime in America’s big cities, saying it wouldn’t happen in rural America.

But according to Vulture, the video features news footage projected on the Maury County courthouse, where a lynching took place in the 1920s.

The video also includes images of riots and police-protester clashes.

“Well, try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own … I recommend you don’t / Try that in a small town,” the song states.

SEE ALSO: CMT pulls music video for Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That in a Small Town’

There were other charges of love for “sundown towns,” where blacks dared not enter after the sun set during the Jim Crow “lynch law” era.

“These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. 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,” Mr. Aldean said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“While I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far,” he said.

Ironically, the song at No. 2 on the U.S. iTunes chart also is a country music song that has been at the center of a racial criticism.

Luke Combs’ hit “Fast Car” is a cover of a 1980s hit by Tracy Chapman, and the Washington Post published an article saying that a White male star was getting successes that would have been denied to a Black, LGBTQ woman such as Ms. Chapman.

The article was widely derided both because Ms. Chapman herself approved of the cover (and will profit handsomely from it, in both direct royalties and exposure) and because her original was a Grammy-winning Top 10 hit.

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