The music video, released by his label Broken Bow Records/BMG on Friday (July 14), had been in regular rotation on CMT during the morning music video hours until Sunday (July 16). However, as of Monday, the video was pulled from the network without an official statement explaining the decision.
Since its release, the video has garnered over 346,000 views on YouTube. It features Aldean performing in front of a courthouse with an American flag displayed at the entrance. Throughout the performance, the footage is intercut with scenes of a flag burning, protesters engaging in confrontations with the police, and a convenience store being robbed. The origin of the supplementary footage remains unclear, but at one point, a Fox News chyron appears stating, "state of emergency declared in Georgia." Notably, Aldean hails from Macon, Ga.
The song, penned by Kelly Lovelace, Neil Thrasher, Tully Kennedy, and Kurt Michael Allison, takes an often confrontational stance, challenging wrongdoers to think twice before committing acts of violence. Aldean's heartfelt lyrics caution against lawlessness in small towns, emphasizing the tight-knit community spirit that values mutual support and respect.
In light of recent events, the video holds a particularly poignant significance for Aldean, who was on stage during the tragic Route 91 Festival gun massacre in Las Vegas in 2017.
Through his music, he expresses a desire to return to the sense of community he experienced growing up, where neighbors helped each other regardless of differences.
Upon its release, the video received praise from Aldean's 4.1 million Instagram followers, with the singer expressing hope that the music video reminds people they are not alone in seeking a return to community values. However, the video's bold approach prompted CMT to remove it from rotation, leading Aldean to address the controversy through a lengthy message on his Instagram Stories.
Aldean emphasized that the song does not promote violence or discrimination, and the real news footage used in the video aimed to highlight the ongoing issues faced by communities. He clarifies that the song's core message revolves around the spirit of unity and support found in small towns.
Despite the setback, Aldean's single continues to climb the Billboard Country Airplay chart, and his album's forthcoming release has generated significant anticipation. Following the video's removal from CMT, the song saw a surge in popularity, quickly ascending to the top of the iTunes Country Top 40 chart.
Fans of Aldean can rejoice, as the country singer has kicked off a new amphitheater tour. Although he faced a setback due to heat stroke during a recent show, Aldean plans to resume the tour shortly.