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"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
Empowering, positive rap track is mostly clean.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 22 reviews

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 byRosebud95 February 18, 2014

"I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T -- hustler!" :D

Yeah, I really like this song, plus it's uplifting :)))))
Adult Written bySteve J. September 7, 2016
Teen, 13 years old Written bystudboy24 July 3, 2013
Kid, 12 years old April 21, 2013


This is even a better song than Thrift Shop! Let older Tweens and up.

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

For kids who love to dance to rap

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