You don't have to be a country fan to know that Jason Aldean's newest single, "Try That in a Small Town," has caused significant controversy in the media over the last several weeks. While some argue the song simply explores how people in smaller, rural communities look out for one another, others have gone as far as to bill the song as "racist" with "dog-whistle" lyrics.

The controversy hasn't hindered the song's appeal, however. At the time when the flames of outrage were being ignited, "Try That in a Small Town" was sitting at around 1,000 digital song sales. In the recent weeks, it's exponentially grown to 228,000 sales, while the music video has garnered more than 20 million views as of this writing.

As reported by The Des Moines Register, "Try That in a Small Town" was co-written by an Iowa native. Kurt Allison is from Des Moines, and he shares a songwriting credit on the song alongside Kelley Lovelace (Brad Paisley's "Online"), Neil Thrasher (Rascal Flatts' "Fast Cars and Freedom"), and Tully Kennedy (who has collaborated with Aldean on numerous songs, including "If I Didn't Love You" with Carrie Underwood).

Allison's songwriting credits include several that were recorded by Aldean, including "If I Didn't Love You," "That's What Tequila Does," and "They Don't Know." He also has a songwriting credit on Dustin Lynch's "Seein' Red."

Kurt Allison has been performing alongside Aldean since 1999, long before the artist scored his first hit with "Hicktown" back in 2005.

A shot from the music video of "Try That in a Small Town." Photo Credit: Jason Aldean, YouTube
A shot from the music video of "Try That in a Small Town." Photo Credit: Jason Aldean, YouTube

"Try That in a Small Town" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind only "Seven" by Jung Kook, member of the K-pop group BTS. It is Aldean's highest-charting single ever on the Hot 100 charts.

The song wasn't the only thing to come under fire. The music video, released on July 14th, reflects the song's references to protests by showing footage of people burning the American flag and harassing police officers. In the video, Aldean and his band are performing in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, TN, which is where an 18-year-old Black teenager named Henry Choate was killed in a mob lynching in 1927. The courthouse was also the site of the 1946 Columbia race riot.

Aldean released a lengthy statement on his Twitter account last week in lieu of the controversy the song had caused.

Furthermore, Allison graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1986 and began his career playing in his father's rhythm-and-blues band before moving to Nashville, per The Des Moines Register. He is expected to accompany Jason Aldean at the Iowa State Fair on August 20th.

For more information on Kurt Allison and Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town," visit the Des Moines Register's website.

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