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Can't Hold Us Down (song)

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Christina Aguilera featuring Lil Kim - Cant Hold Us Down CD cover


"Can't Hold Us Down" is a song by American recording artist Christina Aguilera featuring rapper Lil' Kim, taken from Aguilera's fourth studio albumStripped. It was released on July 8, 2003 by RCA Records as the fourth single from the album. The song was written by Aguilera, Matt Morris, and Scott Storch, and was solely produced by Storch. An R&B andhip hop song with elements from dancehall, "Can't Hold Us Down" promotes feminism and criticizes gender-related double standard. Media outlets suggested that its lyrics were about Eminem and Fred Durst.

"Can't Hold Us Down" received mixed reviews from music critics, who were ambivalent towards its production and composition. However, the track was nominated a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 2004 Grammy Awards. The song experienced moderate success commercially, peaked at number 12 on the U.S. BillboardHot 100 and charted within the top ten of several countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom. The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) eventually certified the single a gold certification.

A music video for "Can't Hold Us Down" was directed by David LaChapelle, and was inspired by the Lower East Side of New York City during the 1980s. Aguilera performed the song during her three major concert tours: Justified and Stripped Tour (2003), The Stripped Tour (2003) and Back to Basics Tour (2006–07). To date, "Can't Hold Us Down" has been widely recognized as a feminist anthem.

Music VideoEdit

The music video for "Can't Hold Us Down" was directed by David LaChapelle, who previously directed the music video for Stripped's controversial lead single "Dirrty" (2002). It was filmed in a Los Angeles soundstage that depicted a 1980s Lower East Side neighborhood in ManhattanNew York City. LaChapelle described the video's concept as his "ode to the '80s". As the video begins, Aguilera is chatting with a group of women. She wears a pink tank top, very short pair of shorts, a mauve baseball cap embroidered with the words "Lady C", a sleeveless sport jacket and white long socks. Her eyes are darkened with mascara, her nose has a gold piercing, and her hair is dyed black. The video features a "non-white" "ethnic-like" body of Aguilera, which resembles residents of a ghetto.

When Aguilera stands up and starts walking, a black man suddenly grabs her buttocks, makes Aguilera stops and causes an argument. As she continues to sing, the nearby women in the neighborhood join her, while the male residents join the man, and form their respective sides in the street, mostly black or Latin people.They, the hip hop artists, performed their own dance skills against each other. At the bridge, Lil' Kim appears in a bikini, a sheer black blouse and dances on her high heels. The argument ends with Aguilera spraying the men with a water hose, which she holds between her legs and parodies the male penis.

Christina Aguilera - Can't Hold Us Down04:32

Christina Aguilera - Can't Hold Us Down

Christina Aguilera - "Can't Hold Us Down" (official music video)

The AV Club was not impressed with LaChapelle's direction, wrote that "once David LaChapelle’s video gets factored in, the medium swallows the message". Diane Railton and Paul Watson, authors of the book Music Video and the Politics of Representation noted that Aguilera becomes a black woman in the music video, though she was originally white. They further described the clip's content as "a range of issues concerning the represent of gender and race".

LyricsEdit

So what am I not supposed to have an opinion Should I be quiet just because I'm a woman Call me a bitch cos I speak what's on my mind Guess it's easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiled

When a female fires back Suddenly big talker don't know how to act So he does what any little boy would do Making up a few false rumors or two

That for sure is not a man to me Slanderin' names for popularity It's sad you only get your fame through controversy  But now it's time for me to come and give you more to say

This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls? Shout out loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave them proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down

Nobody can hold us down Nobody can hold us down Nobody can hold us down Never can, never will

So what am I not supposed to say what I'm saying Are you offended by the message I'm bringing Call me whatever cos your words don't mean a thing Guess you ain't even a man enough to handle what I sing

If you look back in history It's a common double standard of society The guy gets all the glory the more he can score While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore

I don't understand why it's okay The guy can get away with it & the girl gets named All my ladies come together and make a change Start a new beginning for us everybody sing

This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard What do we do girls? Shout Out Loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down

[Lil' Kim:] Check it - Here's something I just can't understand If the guy have three girls then he's the man He can either give us some head, sex a roar If the girl do the same, then she's a whore But the table's about to turn I'll bet my fame on it Cats take my ideas and put their name on it It's airight though, you can't hold me down I got to keep on movin' To all my girls with a man who be tryin to mack Do it right back to him and let that be that You need to let him know that his game is whack And Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera got your back

But you're just a little boy Think you're so cute, so coy You must talk so big  To make up for smaller things So you're just a little boy All you'll do is annoy You must talk so big  To make up for smaller things

This is for my girls... This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls? Shout out loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down

This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls? Should out loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down Spread the word, can't hold us down

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