“Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Genre: hip hop
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis sound like: Hipster Hoodie Allen with more heart
Worth checking out: “Otherside Remix” featuring Fences, “Neon Cathedral” featuring Allen Stone
The ideal setting to play “Can’t Hold Us”: in a car full of your friends while you’re on the way to a night out
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are best known for the immensely catchy and silly “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz and the viral pro-marriage equality song “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert. Seattle rapper Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) started independently releasing music in 2000. In 2005 he released his first full-length album but music production came to a halt as he struggled with substance abuse and eventually ended up in rehab. Since his recovery in 2008, he teamed up with friend Ryan Lewis to become a collaborative unit and began creating music again. Their debut studio album The Heist was released in October 2012 to a number 2 spot on the US Billboard 200 chart, which is stunning because they had no mainstream promotion. Macklemore brings his bouncing rap flow and songwriting abilities while Lewis brings his talent as a producer, video director, graphic designer, and DJ.
When “Can’t Hold Us” starts off with its piano riff (kind of reminiscent of Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar”) and energetic clap, you can’t help but get hyped up along with Macklemore as he ad libs the introduction and goes right into a fast-paced verse. Singer Ryan Dalton comes in with a gospel-flavored hook to keep you going. Lewis shows off his knack for memorable beats and melodies (“Thrift Shop” is another testament to that). Macklemore’s message in this song isn’t all that original (staying true to his roots, being able to do his music the way he wants to, etc.) but his lyricism shines in his more serious tracks on The Heist. Keep an ear out for this duo over the next few years and check out “Can’t Hold Us”: