Celebrities

TobyMac Speaks Out After Son’s Death, Shares Their Final Text Exchange: “Love You Dad. You Have Always Believed in Me.”

Christian rapper TobyMac’s oldest son, Truett McKeehan, has died suddenly, a representative confirmed Thursday morning.

“Truett did pass away at home in the Nashville area sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” said the rep.

Though details surrounding the 21-year-old’s untimely death have yet to be released, TobyMac has provided an emotional statement to the USA Today Network (Tennessee) regarding his son.

The grieving father reflected fondly on Truett’s “magnetic” and “untamable grand personality” as well as his passion for God.

“Truett always had a soft spot for God,” he wrote. “The Bible moved him. His heart was warm to the things of his King. He was by no means a cookie-cutter Christian but give me a believer who fights to keep believing. Give me a broken man who recognizes his need for a Savior every time. That’s who Truett was and how he should be remembered.”

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Music was also one of Truett’s great loves, and he expressed himself through the music he made.

“And by made I mean, written, recorded, produced, mixed, and designed the art. All of it. A true artist,” TobyMac explained. “His first show was a week ago, and it was nothing short of electric. Everyone felt it, everyone knew it.”

Though his son certainly had the talent to start producing music as a young teen, his dad said that he didn’t want to take the “easy route.”

“He didn’t want to be a child star, he wanted to be a man with scars and a story to tell. I always admired, respected and encouraged that stand.”

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TobyMac then shared the final moment and text exchange that he had with Truett before his tragic passing:
“My last moment with Truett in person was at his first show this past Thursday at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee,” he wrote. “I had to leave the next morning very early to fly and start our Canadian tour. As I stood in the audience and watched my son bring joy to a room, I was as proud as a ‘pop’ (as tru called me) could be. It was the culminating moment of a dream that he had since he was 12. It couldn’t have been sweeter. Our music, and what we say lyrically couldn’t be more different, but the outcome was much the same… offering a room full of people a few minutes of joy in a crazy world.”

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The last text Toby wrote to his eldest son expressed his pride in his musical performance, and more importantly, the way he encouraged others on stage.

“I wanted to tell you how proud I was of you last night,” Toby’s text read. “Your show was amazing and I think you got the ‘it’ factor which is very important but unexplainable. Your joy is infectious and you invite people into it… But one more thing. I was very very very proud of you when you went down and stood on the front row after most people left you watched Nathan[‘s] show from the front row and encouraged him… That kind of thing right there will take you farther than great art… God doesn’t miss those things like he notices things like that and bless us I promise.”


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Truett simply replied: “Love you dad. Thank you so much. You have always believed in me. Make me feel like a superhero.”

TobyMac concluded his statement with a powerful message about the God we serve—one who is Lord of the hills and valleys, life and death, joy and sorrow.

“My wife and I would want the world to know this…We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under the table deal with Him, like we’ll follow you if you bless us,” he wrote. “We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. And He is beautiful above all things.”

Read TobyMac’s statement in full below:

“Truett Foster Mckeehan had joy that took the room when he entered. He was a magnetic son and brother and friend. If you met him you knew him, you remembered him. His smile, his laugh, the encouragement he offered with words or even without. He had an untamable grand personality and dreams to match. And he hated being put in a box.

He expressed himself through the music he made. And by made I mean, written, recorded, produced, mixed, and designed the art. All of it. A true artist. His first show was a week ago, and it was nothing short of electric. Everyone felt it, everyone knew it. He could’ve easily taken the easy route and put music out when he was 12, 14, 16, even 18, but he always said he wanted to live some life and have something to say before he did it. He didn’t want to be a child star, he wanted to be a man with scars and a story to tell. I always admired, respected and encouraged that stand.

Truett always had a soft spot for God. The Bible moved him. His heart was warm to the things of his King. He was by no means a cookie cutter Christian but give me a believer who fights to keep believing. Give me a broken man who recognizes his need for a Savior every time. That’s who Truett was and how he should be remembered.

My last moment with Truett in person was at his first show this past Thursday at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. I had to leave the next morning very early to fly and start our Canadian tour. As I stood in the audience and watched my son bring joy to a room, I was as proud as a “pop” (as tru called me) could be. It was the culminating moment of a dream that he had since he was 12. It couldn’t have been sweeter. Our music, and what we say lyrically couldn’t be more different, but the outcome was much the same… offering a room full of people a few minutes of joy in a crazy world.

My wife and I would want the world to know this…
We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under the table deal with Him, like we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor.
He is the God of the hills and the valleys.
And He is beautiful above all things.”

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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