In the video posted to TikTok Friday evening, Johnson said, "We live in a time where everyone gets p*issed off at Jason Aldean for putting out a song." He continued, "If you're videoing this, and Jason Aldean and if you're seeing this video, you keep it up, brother. You do you.
"If being patriotic makes you an outlaw, then by God I'll be an outlaw," Johnson added. "I'm gonna play you an outlaw song and it goes like this..." he said as he launched into his next song.
Jason Aldean was accused of being "pro-lynching" and called a "violent bigot" and a "racist" after it was announced that his music video was removed from CMT.
The song's lyrics include "Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalk," "Carjack an old lady at a red light," "Pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store," and "Ya think it's cool, well, act a fool if ya like." He then combats that with a dare to "Try that in a small town, See how far you make it down the road... You cross that line, it won't take long for you to find out, I recommend you don't."
Left-wing activist Shannon Watts tweeted that she was "Proud to have had a hand in getting CMT to reject this racist and violent song." She said that Aldean, who "was on-stage during the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert in 2017 that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more - has recorded a song called 'Try That In A Small Town' about how he and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns."
In a response, Aldean said, "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."
To address Whatt's criticism, he said, "NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart." He added, "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."
"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," he concluded.
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