TobyMac says new song represents 'first time' he could 'scream hope' since son Truett's death

TobyMac's latest single, "Help Is On The Way," features his son, Judah McKeehan. | YouTube

Just over a year after the untimely death of his firstborn son, TobyMac has released a song he says marks the first time he felt he could "scream hope from the mountaintop.”

On Friday, the 56-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer dropped his first single of the year, along with a music video for "Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight).” With lyrics including the lines “Some face a lifetime of fallen tears / But He's in the darkness, He's in the cold / Just like the morning,' He always shows,” the song offers an upbeat reminder that God is present, even amid pain. 

TobyMac knows firsthand what it means to walk through unthinkable suffering. In October 2019, TobyMac’s 21-year-old firstborn son, Truett, an aspiring artist, died from an accidental drug overdose.

In a recent interview with ReelFaith’s DeWayne Hamby, the artist said he “didn’t do anything for a few months” following the death of his son. When he did finally reenter the studio, all he could write were “sad, teary-eyed ballad-y songs,” he confessed. 

“That was all I had in me,” he said. “I just started asking God, ‘What is going on? Is that all I’m going to be able to write? For the rest of my life?”

Soon, right before Christmas, God gave him a chorus inspired by a verse in the Psalms that speaks of God “rolling up His sleeves” to come to our rescue. 

“What an image to hold on to, that the God of all creation is rolling up His sleeves on my behalf,” he said. “And I just, I just held on to that and started writing immediately.”

“I had no music yet, just melody and a lyric in my head,” he continued. “'Help is On the Way (Maybe Midnight)’ is the first time I think I felt sort of a turnaround where I could express hope. I felt hope through it all. But (the song) is the first time I could express it in an artistic, creative way. The first time I could scream hope from the mountaintop.”

The song of reassurance and hope features a special guest: TobyMac's son, Judah McKeehan.

Following Truett’s untimely death, his family was “surrounded by love,” the artist said, adding: “We really have felt the body of Christ flex all right muscles.”

TobyMac and his family also launched the Truett Foster Foundation where donations made in Truett’s name will help send “vulnerable youth to college, that they may realize their God-given potential to change the lives of others,” the foundation says on its website.

One hundred percent of the donations will be used to fund scholarships in partnership with the Global Orphan Project. The Christian organization will underwrite all general and administrative expenses in honor of the aspiring musician.

Now, TobyMac is embarking on his in-person Hits Deep Tour with Tauren Wells, We Are Messengers, Unspoken, Cochren & Co., and Terrian. The tour, which will hit 16 cities, will “follow the [COVID] guidelines for each city.”

TobyMac said that the past season has been one of “reflection” — and he’s been thankful for the time spent with his family. 

“The timing of everything — losing my son and then going into this season of being home a lot — it’s been really a gift to me,” he said. “And I’m really grateful that I could be home with my family quite a bit and not gone as much, not in the studio as much, but just be present with my wife and my kids a lot more than I ever have in my life in my adult life. So I’m grateful.”

Watch the music video for "Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” below.

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