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TobyMac Gets Brave with The Elements
By Hannah Goodwyn - CBN.com
the beloved Christian music artist who's sold 11 million records
over his 17-year solo career, is taking some risks with his
latest album, The Elements.
from the CD, has reached the
Top 10 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian Music Charts. The
Elements also includes "I just need U," which marked
TobyMac's biggest single in six years soaring quickly in 2018 to
the top of the radio charts and Billboard's Hot Christian Songs
"Starts With Me," TobyMac's powerful duet with singer Aaron
Cole, deals with race relations. Not one to back away from
the issue, TobyMac believes it's beyond time to take an honest
look at where we are as a country. Only then will healing begin.
spoke with CBN.com about "Starts With Me," and two other
special tracks ("Scars" and "It's You" - his new
worship song!). Here are excerpts.:
You recently said in an
interview with Billboard.com that the most important thing to
you are the concepts of an album and what you're trying to say
through your music.
What is The Elements saying?
The whole record
is about life and the things that I've experienced the last
three years. I have to live some life to write a record, and I
have to experience the ups and downs, the trenches, the
achievements, the hard times, and the good times to write songs.
I don't make songs up. They come from the grit and beauty of
So, I think The Elements, it's about what comes against who I set
my mind and my heart to be every day. It's the scars that come
with life, the things that we face, race relations, the times
that our friends break our hearts or the times that we break
theirs. All of these things that come against us trying to be
the person we want to be, trying to be the person we feel called
to be, the husband I want to be, the father I want to be, the
friend that I want to be. It feels like everything's working
against that. It feels like the whole world's telling me to
think about myself when I'm called to think about others.
With all of that comes these stories that equal these songs. When I
looked at the whole record, I felt like this record is about the
elements. It's about fighting to be who you feel you're supposed
to be and keeping that and reminding yourself of that every day,
because you can look up and be a runaway train going in the
Who are you supposed to
I'm supposed to be
someone that loves well. I'm supposed to be a good father, a
faithful husband. I'm supposed to be a friend that's there when
someone needs me. I'm supposed to be someone who isn't caught up
in the stage or branding, but is caught up in being a real man
and a real friend and a real, hopefully, asset to my community -
not from the stage; that's automatic - but in everyday life in
Your new song with
"Starts With Me," is a powerful one.
What is at the heart of that song's story?
And, what is it saying to Americans?
It's saying that
we're still not there. We're not even close to there as far as
race relations and coming together. My band is called Diverse
City. My household is a mixed household. My band is a mixed
band. My label is mixed race artists. I by no means know
everything. I'm a man that's learning every day, but I just feel
like, unless we're willing to take an honest look at our history
and realize that some of the things that have been handed down
to us, we need to overcome...
And, in my opinion, it's not one swoop. It's not easy. It's every day
waking up and being sensitive to what another man is walking
through. When we begin to do that, then confession and
forgiveness and ultimately compassion are the only things that
are going to reconcile us. Until we're willing to take an honest
look, there's always going to be trouble in the waters.
the TobyMac video for
Story Behind The Song
video for "Everything" -
"I Just Need U"
Live on Fox & Friends June 29
"I was born with two dirty
hands" ...That's such an honest lyric. It presents a challenging
image some in our society and even in the Church might not be
Yeah, that's probably
the most risky lyric on the record. But, it's the truth. I know
there are a lot of people that are just going to immediately cry
out, 'I'm not into the "white guilt" thing.' But, I think I'm
willing to take an honest look. We can't just overlook the past. We
have to be forthright and honest about it, and that will be the
beginning of some type of healing.
If you could sing one of
your new songs to everyone on Spotify right now,
which song would you sing and why?
My mind immediately
goes to "Scars" because I think people need to know that
they're loved and they're not alone. People isolating themselves is
what's troubling society, at this point. So, when you tell someone
they're not alone, and when you tell someone to lift their head up
to where their help comes from, I believe you're speaking to a lot
of things that are going on in society.
It was a personal thing for me, you know. I had to let someone dear to
me, I had to let them know they're not alone, but I have my scars,
and I'm here for you. Bigger than that, God is there for you, so
lift your head to where your help comes from.
A lot of your fans are
followers of Jesus like you. Which new song off The Elements
would you sing to them?
To them, I would sing,
"It's You," for sure. Because, when all the elements are
coming at you, when things are as fuzzy as they could possibly be,
when you're hurt, confused, angry, if you can put things in the
right order in your life, there's a peace that is overwhelming.
I'm talking to God directly on that song. I'm not a worship artist, but
this is a worship song. The song says, "It's you and everything else
just falls in line. You, you will always hold this heart of mine,
you. It's you and everything else just falls in line."
That to me is worship. I'm recognizing the deity of God. I'm recognizing
that He is God and I am not. I'm recognizing that He is first and
nothing else is. That's worship to me.
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(from The Elements)
TobyMac's The Elements provides the first new collection of music from the chart-topping artist in three years. The Elements marks the 7X GRAMMY winner's seventh album following the RIAA Gold Certification of his previous six solo albums. Includes the already released hits, I just need U, Scars and Everything.
(Love Broke Thru)
CBD Price: $1.29
(Hits Deep Live)
Get up close and personal with
on the Hits
Deep Live CD/DVD.
This two-disc experience features the full live concert in crisp
audio and HD video, captured on the sold-out Spring 2016 tour. This
high-octane, sixteen-song set features guest appearances from new
Britt Nicole, Colton Dixon-
on a selection of This
Is Not A Test favorites
and T-Mac classics.
Not A Test:
One of Christian music's favorite artists,
returns with another rewarding blend of pop, rock, and hip-hop
Is Not A Test features
guest appearances from his former
bandmates, as well as Capital Kings,
Mr. Talkbox, NF,
and others on
"Beyond Me," "Love Feels Like," "Undeniable,"
and more. Deluxe edition includes four additional tracks, including
"Lift You Up"
and two high octane remixes.
2016 Grammy Winner-
Best CCM Album
(Eye On It)