Madison emcee OX weighs the possibility of redemption on the unexpectedly honest "Can He Forgive," a mid-tempo confessional track from his new album Life Support. Showcasing the gravel-voiced rapper's contemplative side, this three-and-a-half-minute rhyme asks the same basic question, again and again: Will the good lord really save a sinner like me?
Studio rats are certain to be impressed by the way that producer DJ Pain 1 nails the frenzy of spiritual awakening through repeated use of a distorted snippet of frantic gospel piano. And folks who grown bored with pile-driving braggadocio set to same old brutalizing 4/4 beat will admire how the casual, sing-song rhythm of OX's flow prevents what's plainly a serious disquisition on the parameters of salvation from becoming hopelessly melodramatic.
But for my money, the clincher here is this remarkably unabashed couplet: "Not comfortable in a church/rather be in a cave." It's an admirably frank admission that although he's thinking on salvation and hopes for forgiveness, OX knows he's not ready to cede free will to a higher power. And, more important, may never be.
Like millions of awed sinners before him, OX is really asking: Does he forgive that much?
An MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. OX is performing at a CD release party for Life Support at the King Club on Monday, September 10, where he will be joined by Jack Cracker (of The Crest) and the Fall Guys (MC Starr and DJ Pain 1). Showtime is 9 p.m. and the cover is $5.
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