A Deeper Look into the Modified ‘Try That in a Small Town’ Music Video
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The music video for the popular country track “Try That in a Small Town” by renowned artist Jason Aldean has recently undergone significant editing, prompting both intrigue and controversy. The alterations come in response to concerns raised about the video’s content, particularly its perceived offensive nature. In this article, we delve into the changes made to the video, the reasons behind them, and the broader discussions they have ignited.
Reimagining the Visual Narrative
Originally, the music video Jason Aldean try that in a small town video incorporated footage from Fox News, capturing intense moments from Black Lives Matter protests that occurred in Atlanta during 2020. However, following critical feedback and accusations of offensiveness, these scenes have been meticulously removed. The result is a video that is six seconds shorter than its precursor, omitting the contentious images.
Evolving Storylines and Removed Clips
In the updated version, the video still retains its setting—a Tennessee courthouse with historical significance. This location, linked to a lynching incident in the past, serves as a backdrop for the narrative. Notably, the scenes involving criminal activities and clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement personnel have been preserved, lending a sense of tension and drama to the visual storytelling.
A key alteration involves the removal of specific scenes, such as the projection of the Fox News clip on the courthouse’s exterior. This projection was juxtaposed with Aldean’s lyrics, drawing attention to actions that he suggests would be out of place in a small town. The controversial actions referenced in the song include carjacking, confrontation with law enforcement, and disrespecting the national flag.
Unpacking the Removed Footage
The excised footage, originating from Black Lives Matter protests in Atlanta, was filmed against the backdrop of widespread demonstrations sparked by the tragic murder of George Floyd in May 2020. The events were marked by heightened tensions, leading Atlanta’s mayor to urge protesters to disperse and the governor of Georgia to declare a state of emergency.
Country Music Television (CMT) made a decision to cease broadcasting the original video, though the network did not explicitly attribute this action to the backlash against the song. Neither CMT nor Mr. Aldean’s record label, BBR Music Group, provided immediate comments on the matter. In a statement to The Washington Post, BBR indicated that the editing of the footage was due to copyright clearance issues involving third parties.
Contextualizing the Controversy
The courthouse featured in the video holds a historical significance, serving as the site where a tragic incident occurred in 1927. An African American teenager, Henry Choate, fell victim to a racially motivated lynching after being falsely accused of a crime. This context adds layers of complexity to the video’s narrative, raising discussions about the appropriate portrayal of historical events and their implications.
Voices of Critique and Response
State Representative Justin Jones of Tennessee, a Democrat, expressed strong condemnation of the song on social media. He characterized it as promoting “racist violence” and a troubling endorsement of “gun extremism and vigilantism.” Jason Aldean, the artist himself, responded to the criticism via Twitter, vehemently denying any racist intent in the lyrics and distancing the song from pro-lynching sentiments.
Navigating Controversy in the Modern Age
The controversy surrounding “Try That in a Small Town” led to an unexpected turn of events. Initially overshadowed upon its release, the song ascended the Billboard Hot 100 chart’s ranks, landing at the second position. The song’s music video played a pivotal role in this surge, drawing attention and commentary from various quarters.
A Closer Look at the Video’s Transformations
As the video underwent modifications, certain scenes underwent transformation. Notably, a Fox News segment detailing a “State of emergency declared in Georgia” was excised from the beginning of the video. This alteration appears to be a response to concerns raised about the video’s alignment with real-world events.
Revisiting the Narrative Arc
Intriguingly, a segment spotlighting community support and empathy—depicting farmers helping a friend in need—was removed from the revised video. This exclusion raises questions about the thematic coherence of the video and the elements deemed essential to convey the intended message.
Addressing Allegations and Embracing Perspective
The decision to edit the music video reflects a nuanced attempt to address allegations of insensitivity and offensive content. It underscores the importance of responsible storytelling and the impact of visual narratives in a complex sociopolitical landscape.
The journey of the “Try That in a Small Town” music video exemplifies the intricate interplay between artistic expression, historical context, and societal sensitivities. The alterations made to the video illuminate the ongoing dialogue about the responsibility of creators to navigate controversial themes while upholding ethical considerations.