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The devoted culture warriors dedicated to taking Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” to the top of the charts appear to have already grown bored of the song as it plummeted from Number One to Number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week.

Last week, the song topped the Hot 100, several months after its initial release in April, and following the arrival of a controversial music video that critics — from the country music world to academia — said promoted white nationalism and painted protests against racial injustice as lawless and violent. CMT even pulled the video from its airwaves, and portions of the video featuring protests in Atlanta were later edited out (the footage from Canada, however, remains intact).

As these things tend to go, the backlash to “Try That in a Small Town” inspired a backlash of its own, with conservatives and Aldean fans streaming and buying the song in droves in a time-honored effort to juice the track’s chart position.

The first attempt at this fell short, with “Try That in a Small Town” landing at Number Two behind Jung Kook and Latto’s “Seven.” Nevertheless, they persisted. And the following week “Try That in a Small Town” did manage to top the Hot 100. 

That persistence, however, appears to have its limits. According to data from Luminate, this week “Try That in a Small Town” garnered just 16.5 million streams, a 53 percent drop from the 30.7 million it picked up during its Number One week. And the song’s sales fell significantly, too, topping out at just over 26,000, an 85 percent drop from last week. (That total was still enough for “Try That in a Small Town” to top Billboard‘s Digital Song Sales chart for the third week in a row.)

As Billboard noted, the song’s drop from Number One to 21 is among the biggest falls from the top in Hot 100 history, alongside tracks such as Jimin’s “Like Crazy” (Number One to 45), Taylor Swift’s “Willow” (One to 38), 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj’s “Trollz” (One to 34), BTS’ “Life Goes On” (One to 28), and Travis Scott, Young Thug, and M.I.A.’s “Franchise” (One to 25).

Despite the precipitous fall on the Hot 100, “Try That in a Small Town” remains a strong contender on the country charts. On the Hot Country Songs chart, it fell to Number Three, ceding the top spots to this year’s twin juggernauts, Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” (which are also Number One and Two on the Hot 100). Meanwhile, the song did rise on the Country Airplay chart, from 25 to 20.


Aldean has repeatedly dismissed the criticism against “Try That in a Small Town” and denied that it is “pro-lynching.” During a recent concert in Cincinnati, he appeared to thank fans for their support, saying, “You guys know how it is, cancel culture is a thing, it’s something where if people don’t like what you say, they try and make sure they can cancel you, which means try to ruin your life, ruin everything. One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that can see through a lot of the bullshit, all right? I saw country music fans rally like I never seen before, and that was pretty badass, I gotta say.”

More recently, Aldean tried to tie the controversy to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing during a concert in the city. “Any of you guys that would’ve found those guys before the cops did, I know you guys from Boston, and you guys would’ve beat the shit out of [them],” Aldean said.