Ghost of the Machine goes deep with ‘Mercy’

There’s something indelible tugging at the listener’s heart on “Mercy,” the most recent single and music video from Worcester hip-hop artist Ghost of the Machine. Maybe it’s the bluesy refrain of “Please have mercy on me” — sampled from The East St. Louis Gospelettes’ song, “Have Mercy On Me” — that underscores Ghost’s haymaker raps, the way they decelerate with a sort of exhaustion until they’re superseded by a recording of his daughter, Mia, reciting a prayer. Whatever it is, it lends the song a sense of soulfulness.  

“All I ask for when I pray is mercy,” raps Ghost, “these shark-infested waters/dark and murky/never thought I’d make it alive,” he says, the persona remarking on how he didn’t expect to reach his 30s. In a genre that frequently ponders people dying young, it’s always interesting to see an MC seriously ponder the opposite: What happens if they live? And more importantly, what are you living for?  

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