Realizing TobyMac’s music has been like a soundtrack to my life

I ended up in a TobyMac YouTube spiral Sunday and it was amazing. It was the most relaxed and at home I had felt in awhile. It fit in perfectly with my social media detox (full disclosure – I have popped on Facebook once or twice to ask a couple questions in groups I am in and I went on Instagram to apologize to two authors for not yet reviewing their books after they had agreed to review mine. I have not, however “scrolled” any timelines and that’s been so refreshing! Oh wait – I briefly scrolled my dad’s timeline while I was eating some lunch at their house but was so horrified with the nastiness there I quickly remembered my detox and closed the iPad cover.)

Back to the real reason for this blog post: For those of you who don’t know who TobyMac is, he is a Christian rapper/singer/musician who originally started out with the Christian rockish/rap/pop band D.C. Talk.

As I listened to all those TobyMac songs Sunday a thought hit me – Toby’s music has been the soundtrack of my life since junior high school. His music has been there through the highs and the lows. It’s lifted me when I’ve been down or kept me up when I was already joyful.

I first discovered Toby around 1990 DC Talk and the album Nu Thang. I picked it up (a cassette! Gasp!) at the Christian bookstore at the local mall (two things we don’t have many of anymore) and popped it into my walkman (yes, I am that old). I listened to it the entire hour and a half drive back to our house (yes, we lived that far away from a mall). I ended up being able to catch DC Talk in concert with Michael W. Smith in Hershey, Pa. a year or so later. We were behind the stage and everything was pretty loud, but it was still a cool experience.

I was able to see DC Talk again at Creation, a Christian music festival in Pennsylvania, somewhere around 1995 when their album Jesus Freak came out.

Eventually the band took an extended hiatus and during that time TobyMac started a successful solo career. I have picked up everyone of his albums and I have liked almost every song on every single one of those albums. You know how you sometimes by an album and you think “I like all these songs except … that one.” Well, with Toby I don’t have a “that one.”

Last year his fans mourned with him when his oldest son, Truett, passed away due to a drug overdose. His son had been appearing on his albums in short vignettes or even songs since TruDog (his nickname) was about three years old. We fans were very familiar with him and in some odd way we felt like he was part of our family too.

He was 21 when he died, another victim of drug abuse in this country, which I know broke Toby’s heart. He tried so hard to bring his son back into the fold of his earthly family and the fold of Christ’s family. His broken heart was even more evident in a song he released after Truet’s funeral and in a song called The Real You that he released in an album called The Lost Demos this summer. He wrote The Real You for Truett before he died.

Most of Toby’s music is uplifting and upbeat and definitely energetic, even when he’s dealing with tough subjects.

Because I think you need to hear some positive music right now, I’m sharing some of my favorite TobyMac songs for you to listen to. Just click on one song and Youtube will do the rest and send you down a fun, spiraling path of his music. Maybe you need an encouraging word this week or maybe you simply need a song with a good beat. Either way, Toby has it for you.

*Disclaimer: I have not been compensated by TobyMac or anyone from his management. This post was written of my own free will. *wink* However, if anyone from Toby’s team ever sees this post and wants to send me some merch, I’ll take a couple T-shirt’s, one of Toby’s cool hats for my son and a pair of his cool sunglasses for me. Ha!

Suddenly the internet discovers David Phelps

I’ve been following singer David Phelps for years so this week when I saw a number of reaction videos to his music on YouTube I wondered what sparked the sudden attention to a man I consider just about the best singer I’ve ever heard. If you have no idea who David Phelps is, I’m sharing some of my favorite performances of his. If you don’t know who he is, he sings mainly gospel, but even if you aren’t a gospel fan you’ll be shocked and pleasantly surprised by this singer. He is classically trained and considered one of the best vocalists in the world by many experts. I’ll share a couple of classical pieces here with you as well.

Turn up your speakers, lean back, close your eyes (or keep them open to enjoy his expressions and drama) and enjoy his effortless singing.

Here is someone reacting to him, which is fun since I’ve always been amazed by him:

Here is some guy not only reacting to him but telling you why he’s reacting the way he is. This guy is a “vocal coach” and there seems to be a lot of them on Youtube – about as many of them as “personal life coaches” or “health coach.”

And here is some of just him:

And here he is singing what many have called one of the best renditions of ‘O Holy Night’ ever: