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World News

Christian artist TobyMac releases first album since son's death

by Alex Collett

Grammy-winning Christian artist TobyMac (Toby McKeehan), has released his first album since his son Truett McKeehan died at the age of 21 in 2019 from an accidental drug overdose.

Mac had not produced much original music, releasing a few "lost" demos and a concert recording that included "21 Years," a song mourning the loss of Truett.

A new album titled 'Life After Death' is filled with songs of sadness and lament, as well as a mourning father's declaration about the goodness of God.

TobyMac told an intimate gathering of dozens of fans, staff, and donors at WGTS, a Christian music radio station in Rockville, Maryland, on the night before the album's release: "God has been kind enough to show me that there is life after death.

"It's hard to even say because I almost at times don't want life. I think I'm cheating somehow on my son. But somehow or another I've learned that God is good."

The new album reflects the trajectory the songwriter has travelled in the almost three years since his son's death.

A collaboration with Truett's sister, Marlee, Sheryl Crow, and TobyMac's former bandmates from DC Talk-the Christian rap trio formed at Liberty University that launched TobyMac's career.

TobyMac in an interview with Religion News Service talked further about writing about his grief and his belief, whether future performances with DC Talk are possible

He said: "I mean, it was a long process. I came out of Truett's passing and wanted to write a tribute to him so I wrote "21 Years," a really hard and sad song. 

"But I wanted to honor him, so I pushed through and I wrote it. And I didn't write for a while. I kind of laid it down, just too broken up."

"Then after three, four really hard sad songs I said I'll never write another up-tempo, I'll never write another joyful song. And then I read a Scripture in Isaiah-and it actually mentions this in the Psalms, too-where it says that God is rolling up his sleeves, and I just couldn't get that imagery out of my mind. So I started writing this song "Help Is on the Way," which was up-tempo but not joyful."

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