Lifestyles

TobyMac steals the show

Love was in the house, and the house was packed. TobyMac hit John Brown University’s homecoming weekend big time, selling out every last ticket. At 5:30 p.m., the VIP ticket holders came together for a meet-and-greet and a private concert. Special features included Jamie Grace rapping with Gabe Reel, Chris August professing his love for candy and Edith Dodson, and our very own Carli Castillo singing with tobyMac.

The concert itself was a family event. Homecoming alumni, community parents with their children and college students alike all came together to experience good music and love for Jesus. Senior Bryan Roe called it “off the chain.”

Jamie Grace opened and stunned the crowd with her montage of VeggieTales songs. She then played more of her own music which features love songs. Single all her life, she explains that “no one ever stops to guess that I could be singing about my one and only love Jesus.”

Chris August followed Jamie. Andrew Layden, Senior, described him as a “funky Christian Jason Mraz, an indie meets contemporary Christian music songwriter.” He had the whole crowd dancing and swaying to his beats.

Finally, tobyMac himself took the stage with the prayer that God would take it from him. TobyMac is always a surprise and a crowd pleaser. Neon lights, dance moves, a drumline, he had it all. Intermingled with his music selection, which featured both music new and old, he told stories of his family and the great things the Lord has done for him.

Once part of the 90s hit Christian music band DC Talk, tobyMac has been solo since the band broke up in 2000. This has not stopped his momentum, though. TobyMac’s music, with its flair of hip-hop and rap, has sold over ten million albums, including his work with DC Talk.

His albums stand apart from other Christian music in that tobyMac is the first Christian rapper. That’s right, he beat out LeCrae. Additionally, his most recent album Eye on It, released August 28, 2012, stole the number one spot on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, making tobyMac the third Christian artist ever to have done so.

TobyMac, whose real name is Kevin Michael McKeehan, is not just a musician though. He is also an author, president of Gotee Records, which houses bands like Relient K and House of Heroes, husband, and father of five Jamerican sons. His wife’s heritage is one of the inspirations of his music. A native Jamaican, the family travels to the island often, where TobyMac embraces the music and culture.