TobyMac, a popular Christian hip-hop recording artist who has been performing solo since 2000, chatted with The Christian Post recently about his original music, faith, the unavoidable moments of stumbling, and his recent Christmas album.
Originally part of Christian singing trio dcTalk, which won four Grammys and sold more than 8 million albums, TobyMac has been performing on his own for nearly 12 years. He has four albums: Momentum (2001), Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), and Tonight (2010), as well as two remixed albums of the first two albums titled Re:Mix Momentum and Renovating Diverse City, respectively. His new holiday album, Christmas in Diverse City was released in October.
TobyMac told CP he was asked many times to record a Christmas CD but he always refused. "If it doesn't feel like Christmas, and it doesn't give you that feeling of Christmas, I'm not going to force it," he said. "I'm not going to put out a Christmas CD until it's coming out of me naturally," he told himself many times before.
This year, it finally happened. TobyMac started with one song and eventually put the album together with his band, the Diverse City Band.
TobyMac is a musically eclectic artist and describes his work as a "melting pot" of styles. He grew up listening to rock, hip-hop, rhythm and blues and reggae, he revealed.
The recording artist also explained the story behind one of his greatest hit songs, "Slam," saying he realized the "ultimate slam" in his life was what God has done for him: "His son on a cross – that was the slam of sin, that's why we can have forgiveness," he said. "I didn't want to be overly preachy about it, but that is the slam. Period. End of story. For me."
Although TobyMac's songs often end up in movies, TV commercials or played during NBA games, what really matters to him the most is that his work reflects his faith and belief in Christ, he told CP.
"I want my music to be everywhere, I want it to be heard. I want to give people an opportunity to enjoy my music, and maybe even hear about this beautiful truth that's in it," he said.
Explaining the story behind another popular song of his, "What if I Stumble?" TobyMac said that God's grace is amazing and embraces even our mistakes. "I'll never be a non-stumbler," he said. "I'll be a forgiven stumbler, but never a non-stumbler."