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
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