Single Review: Fabolous, Mike Shorey & Lil’ Mo “Can’t Let You Go”

Can’t Let You Go
Album: Street Dreams
Year: 2003

Fabolous is pleased that his mistress’ accepts her role as a convenient and submissive lover in the chauvisnistic “Can’t Let You Go.”

A dry guitar opens the single, leading to a lulling beat with distracting handclaps. Fabolous says his mistress knows what’s going on. Every once in a while she’ll protest about his misbehavior. She’s an introvert which he takes advantage of. He could easily intimidate her if she decided to sue. He says he holds her in high regard, which he shows by buying her jewelry. She’s second place in his life.

She’s someone he can turn to when his wife makes her own decisions and starts talking back. He recongnizes he compared her to a sport but adds it takes time to develop a good girlfriend. They hang out at places in disguises so the press won’t spot them together. Their relationship is based on sex, nothing else. (“Baby girl/You know my situation/And sometimes I know you get impatient/But you don’t put on show’s to get ovations/Take it to court and go through litagations/And I respect ya gangsta/Treat you like a princess/And put some on your neck to thank ya/She’s my pinch hitta/When the startin lineup ain’t playin’ right/I come off the bench wit her/It might sound like I’m gassin’ ya/But it takes time to get from the back seat to the passenger/We been creepin’ and sneakin’/Just to keep it from leakin’/We so deep in our freakin’/That we don’t sleep on the weekend.”)

He sees his wife as a strict mother, wanting to know where’s he been and with who. He would love to see the two women degrade themselves a physical fight over him. He gives her girlfriend the permission to throw the first punch. She should throw it at him instead if he “accidently” sets them up to meet. (“Wifey’s/A little bit uptight/Wonderin’ why I keep comin home in the middle of the night/It’ll be alright if ya’ll bump heads it’ll be a fight/But I said it’ll be alright (come on.”)

‘Cause Fabolous is such a grand, important person he needs another lowly singer in his entourage to speak for him. Mike Shorey says that he would rather be with his mistress. He’s being truthful with her. He won’t break up with her and realizes he’s cheating his wife. He lies by telling her she’s the one he would rather have married. But he doesn’t have any intentions of leaving his wife, either. Lil’ Mo echoes Shorey in the adlibbed parts. (“I really wanna be with you (be with you)/But I gotta be real with you (real with you)/I can’t leave you alone (no)/And I know I’m living wrong/But I can’t let ya go/Your the one I want in my life (want in my life)/Already got a wife (got a wife)/Can’t leave you alone (no)/And I know I’m living wrong/But I can’t let ya go.”)

His mistress doesn’t ask for any money or speak up for herself. She doesn’t have a gun in case one day he decides to teach her a lesson or two. But he owns one and knows his mistress take the blame and commit perjery, if needed. When he goes shopping at his girlfriend’s favorite stores, he buys the same thing for both her and her wife. He really knows how to make a woman feel special and loved. He pages her everyday and calls her once a week. She’s willing to subject herself to his sexual desires and do anything, regardless of how violent. It’s not a solid committment, though. But he trusts her enough not to go to Access Hollywood. (“You ain’t ever step out of line/Or get out a pocket…and you know the barrel of my gun is big enough to spit out a rocket/Oh, you gonna play dumb if cops do come through…but I know the boutiques and the shops you run through/So I cop her one, and cop you one too/You always get a daily page, weekly ring/Plus you ain’t too shy to do them freaky things/I ain’t gotta put a band on your finger/Or worry about you tellin’ the whole world I’m your man while on Springer.”)

He didn’t even acknowledge her as nothing but a walking vagina when they first met. However, she allows him to do whatever he wants to do all the time. She’s nothing but a fun toy for him. (“At first you were somethin’ I denied…just do somethin’ in the ride..there’s something that you provide/Cause the entree ain’t as good without something on the side ya’ know.”)

In the third verse, he’s freaking out because this time he’s going to get caught. His girlfriend’s perfume and lip gloss is all over him. As though he were child, he details his punishment. His wife isn’t starstruck by him and will kick him out of the house. He instructs her to only call him on the car phone. He doesn’t want this to turn into some overdramatic and theatrical R. Kelly, Ron Isley, and Kelly Price mini ghetto musical. (“Uh oh, I might be leavin’ the earth soon/My girl gonna kill me if she smells the scent of your perfume/It’s gonna be a clip toss if I go back/With stains of your lip gloss on my throwback/She won’t care if I’m a platinum rapper/If she catch me with an empty magnum wrapper/So keep it on the down low call the car celly/You seen what happened with Mr. Big and R Kelly.”)

Li’l Mo in her insignificant part reinforces his description of her. She’s awed by Fabolous’ celebrity and stature. She says she loves him and will stand by him through anything. She will talk through her feelings with him. However, it’s to make sure she understands the rules. (“You know I care for you/Anytime this chick is there for you/Feelings I’ma share wit you/Which makes it a little more clear for you.”)

Fabolous is a controlling bastard in “Can’t You Let You Go.” He uses his celebrity to look for women who are weak-willed and can be easily manipulated. There isn’t any compromise unless he is to benefit. “Can’t Let You Go” is sold as a forbidden love song. But it’s a sickening look at how some men abuse women emotionally.


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