"Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Empowering, positive rap track is mostly clean.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 23 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Macklemore offers an inspirational anthem about struggling and succeeding as an independent artist, along with other solid messages like "Learn from that failure, gain humility, and then we keep marching."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mack encourages kids to believe in themselves and pursue their artistic endeavors, using himself as an example: He talks about "chasing dreams" since age 14, and how his "validation comes from giving it back to the people."


Mild language in the lyrics, including "independent s--t hustler," "pimp strut walking," "damn." 


Admits he used to want "gold fronts" in his teeth.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Includes the line "Eating at the beat like you gave a little speed to a great white shark on Shark Week."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this track from Seattle-based rapper Macklemore is an uplifting party jam about his musical journey and coming into his own in the industry. The lyrics are mostly clean and optimistic ("independent s--t hustler," "pimp strut walking," "damn" are as bad as it gets), making it a fine pick for younger teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySteve J. September 7, 2016
Adult Written byJared Galczynski May 21, 2014

Sing it with me kids!

Where do we go back, this is the moment, tonight is the night, we'll fight till it's over, so we put our hands up like Common Sense Media can't h... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byA. Mann April 27, 2020


I think the flow is kinda trash, but its appropiate.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBig Fan August 4, 2018

Great song, but not quite for kids

I think this is a great song, But it is probably best for teens. "S--t," "pimp," and "damn" are used 1 time each. It's pretty... Continue reading

What's the story?

Following the success of the smash viral hit "Thrift Shop," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have issued "CAN'T HOLD US" as the latest single from their October 2012 album The Heist. While there are no gimmicks this time around, the song has caught fire due to its catchy chorus, empowering lyrics, and the rising star power of the Goodwill-shopping emcee.

Is it any good?

The hook is anthemic and the rap is interesting and distinctive, while the production is strong and melodic. Some might find some of the lyrics a little cheesy or too similar to motivational speaking, but if you're willing to accept his sincerity, there's a lot to like about Macklemore and this single.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of positive or message rap. Why is it so rare these days for a popular hip-hop song to steer clear of materialism and misogyny?

  • Macklemore rose to prominence through viral hits like "Thrift Shop" and "Same Love." How is this song different from those tracks, which relied on hot-button topics to attract attention?

Music details

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