Can’t Hold Us
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Ray Dalton
Writer(s): Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, Ray Dalton (see lyrics here)
Released: August 16, 2011
First Charted: October 27, 2012
Peak: 15 US, 13 RR, 15 DG, 25 A40, 17 RB, 3 UK, 2 CN, 11 AU, 7 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 2.4 UK, 14.81 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.14 radio, 1311.33 video, 1911.75 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis teamed up in 2008 to become one of rap’s great success stories. The duo achieved every musician’s dream when they found superstardom with their independently self-produced, recorded, and released debut album, The Heist. It reached #2 on the Billboard album chart and sold five million copies. The album generated four top-20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100; two of those went all the way to #1.
As is usually the case with these kinds of stories, though, it didn’t happen overnight. The Heist was recorded from 2009 to 2012, finally released in October 2012. It was the single “Thrift Shop,” released a little more than month before the album, which propelled the duo into the big time. However, the pair had already released three singles, dating back to January 2011, which would appear on the album.
The first single, “Wings,” hit #40 on the R&B charts and eventually went platinum. “Can’t Hold Us” was released in August 2011, but didn’t take off until it was re-released in January 2013 as the follow-up to “Thrift Shop.” Then the song topped the charts – making them the first duo to hit #1 with their first two Billboard Hot 100 entries – WK and sold more than ten million copies in the U.S. It was named Spotify’s most-streamed song of 2013. WK
The chorus of the song – sung by Ray Dalton – was the last component added to the song. He said, “It had no hook. There was just space; there weren’t even words…So when Ryan was testing my levels, I started humming them a melody, and that melody is what is now today the ‘Can’t Hold Us’ song.” SF
The song was embraced by sports teams in the duo’s hometown of Seattle. It became the official touchdown song for the Seahawks during the 2012 season and the Mariners adopted it as the musical accompaniment anytime they hit a home run ath their stadium. WK
First posted 6/22/2023.