Single Review: Christina Aguilera & Lil’ Kim “Can’t Hold Us Down”

Can’t Hold Us Down
Album: Stripped
Year: 2003

In Aguilera’s new single, the topic is female empowerment. It’s a tricky subject to pull off. If the entertainer doesn’t sound sincere, the message is hollow and it’s just another song filling up air on the radio. However, Aguilera’s previous singles have indicated that she can handle it.

Can’t Hold Us Down is R&B, which Aguilera fits into like a pair of hot pants. The lyrics are assertive and direct. “So what am I not supposed to have opinion/Should I keep quiet just because I’m a woman/Call me a bitch ‘cause I speak what’s on my mind/Guess it’s easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiled.” The only fault, though is using the cliched ‘wave your hands high’ lyric in the chorus. Aguilera sings according to the emotions of the lyrics. However, the best moment is when she snarks on the very men she is singing about: “You must talk so big to make up for smaller things.” Ouch!

Lil’ Kim, though, proves to be useful during her part. She raps about the subject, even though it repeats the lyric earlier in the second before. However, she says it better. Her lyrics are explicit (though, not up to her usual standard) and straightforward, which fit the tone of the song.

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