Castle Walls

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"Castle Walls"
Song by T.I. featuring Christina Aguilera from the album No Mercy
Released July 9, 2011
Recorded 2010
Genre Hip hop, electronic
Length 5:30
Label Grand Hustle, Atlantic
Writer Clifford Harris, Alexander Grant, Holly Hafferman
Producer Alex da Kid
No Mercy track listing
"Lay Me Down"
"Castle Walls"

"Castle Walls" is a song recorded by American rapper T.I. and American recording artist Christina Aguilera, for T.I.'s seventh studio album No Mercy. The hip hop song was written by T.I., Alexander Grant and Grant's protegé Holly Hefferman (also known as Skylar Grey), with Grant providing an electronic-influenced production under his production moniker of Alex da Kid. The song was originally produced for Diddy's experimental album Last Train to Paris but Diddy felt that "Castle Walls" was better suited to T.I. due to the difficulties in his personal life and upcoming prison sentence.

In initial reviews, music critics praised Aguilera's performance on "Castle Walls," describing it as something she could be proud of and having the same hit potential as another da Kid production "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem and Grey. A music video for "Castle Walls" was filmed in 2010, and the song was supposed to follow up No Mercy's first single "Get Back Up" but for unknown reasons the song was not released.

Background and composition[edit]

T.I. told MTV's Jayson Rodriguez that the song "Castle Walls" (featuring Christina Aguilera) originally belonged to Diddy who had commissioned the song for his fifth album Last Train to Paris with his group Dirty Money. But Diddy told T.I. "Yeah, this is my record, but you know what, I think this is a better fit for you. I think you should rock out on this one. I think this speaks volumes to where you are, what you going through, what you living and how you feel."[1][2] Kid confirmed that "Castle Walls" would be a single from No Mercy and that T.I. would be shooting a video for the single.[3]


Nadine Cheung, editor of AOL Radio, has made the interpretation of the song, saying: "In his latest song "Castle Walls", T.I. tells us that life has treated him well. After eleven months spent in prison by a rapper (musician has been sentenced to imprisonment for illegal possession of firearms and violation of court order - editor.) lyrics take on new meaning, especially the memorable chorus sung by Aguilera".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Becky Bain from Idolator wrote, "Christina Aguilera can feel pretty good because of her film debut in theaters Burlesque, however, should feel much more confident thanks to collaboration with rapper T.I. in the beautiful song "Castle Walls". This honest, introspective No Mercy track has the potential to become a huge hit for T.I., on par with Alex Da Kid’s previous smash rap song he produced for Eminem and Rihanna, "Love the Way You Lie".[5]

Music video[edit]

A video was shot before the rapper returned to prison.[3] On 23 November a snippet of the video was used to promote the release of No Mercy.[6] To date, a video for the song has failed to materialize.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2010–11) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[7] 99
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[8] 27
Russia (Russian Airplay Chart)[9] 13
Slovakia (IFPI)[10] 31
South Korea (Gaon Chart)[11] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 51
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[13] 5
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[14] 84


  1. ^ Rodriguez, Jayson (2010-12-09). "Exclusive: T.I. Reveals Diddy Gave Him 'Castle Walls' - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  2. ^ "T.I., Christina Aguilera Collabo Is 'Amazing,' Alex Da Kid Says | News" 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  3. ^ a b "ALEX DA KID BUILDS ‘CASTLE WALLS’ FOR T.I. AND CHRISTINA AGUILERA". Rap-Up. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ Cheung, Nadine (2010-11-29). "T.I., 'Castle Walls' feat. Christina Aguilera -- New Song" AOL Radio Blog. Retrieved on 2010-11-30.
  5. ^ Bain, Becky (2010-11-29)."Christina Aguilera Soars On T.I.’s 'Castle Walls'" Idolator. Retrieved on 2010-11-30.
  6. ^ "T.I. - "Castle Walls" ft. Christina Aguilera [Exclusive Sneak Peak]". YouTube. November 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rihanna Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Rihanna. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201120 into search. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  9. ^ "T.I. feat Christina Aguilera - Castle Walls -". Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ "SNS IFPI". 
  11. ^ "Korean International Singles Chart(choose week 2010.12.5 ~ 12.11)" (in Korean). GAON. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  12. ^ " – T.I. – Castle Walls". Singles Top 60. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  13. ^ "Top Hip-Hop and R&B Songs & Singles Charts". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  14. ^ "T.I. Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for T.I.. Retrieved May 26, 2013.

External links[edit]