He said the “Boston Strong” mentality — a phrase used to describe the unity around the Massachusetts capital city after the bombings — aligns with the message of “Try That in a Small Town.”
“You guys get this better than anybody, right?” he asked the crowd, in video footage shared on Twitter. “What happened was a whole — not a small town — a big a– town coming together, no matter your color, no matter nothing.”
“This is not about race,” he added. “It’s about people getting their s— together and acting right.”
One night earlier at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa., Aldean defended “Try That in a Small Town” by saying that critics wanted to turn the song into “something that it wasn’t,” according to PennLive. He said the edited version of the music video — which cut out six seconds of footage, including scenes from a Black Lives Matter protests — were removed for legal reasons. Indeed, Aldean’s record label, BBR Music Group, said in a statement to The Post that “the video footage was edited due to third party copyright clearance issues,” but did not elaborate.
“Everybody can look at it from a different angle,” Aldean told the Pennsylvania crowd on Friday. “But just because six seconds were taken out, doesn’t change what I was trying to say in the video.”
“I don’t give a damn what color you are, or who you are,” he added.
“Try That in a Small Town” has attracted widespread criticism for overlaying images and video footage of violent protests and riots with charged lyrics, such as “Try that in a small town/See how far ya make it down the road/Around here, we take care of our own.”
But the song has continued to be popular, earning the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 last week. The video, which has been removed from rotation on CMT, has recorded more than 22 million views on YouTube as of Sunday.
Amid the success, Aldean has defended the song as a celebration of small towns and communities.
“I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think, you can think something all you want to, it doesn’t mean it’s true, right?,” Aldean told fans during a concert on July 21 in Cincinnati.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Hey man, do you think you’re going to play this song tonight?’” he said to the crowd. “The answer was simple. The people have spoken and you guys spoke very, very loudly this week.”