TobyMac Explains Tackling Race Relations With Upcoming Music
TobyMac is tackling race relations with his seventh studio album The Elements.
The veteran Christian musician who is known for his fusion of hip-hop, rock and soul music recently spoke to Billboard about how the topic has influenced his upcoming album.
“Life has been a little tougher — not tougher, maybe just more complex. Maybe it’s family growing up and also looking at our society and what’s going on with race relations,” he told Billboard. ” It’s just trying to fight these elements that are coming at us, trying to keep us from all we’re trying to be. This is a really crazy world.”
The title of the album came from the fact that most of the songs on it deal with trying to overcome those challenging elements. The musician has been intentional about including people from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds in his personal and professional life for some time.
His band is even called the Diverse City Band.
“Obviously throughout the years diversity, togetherness, us being there for each other has always been important to me in regards to race,” he told Billboard. “It’s something that me and my band talk about all the time. It’s on our hearts and in our minds.”
Toby said he tapped his Gotee Records artist Aaron Cole as the only feature on his upcoming record to get the perspective of a black man dealing with race relations in today’s society.
“I usually say something on every record about race relations, so I stood with Aaron Cole and told him I wanted it to be from both perspectives. I do think that coming from both perspectives is important,” Toby said. “I say some bold things about how we’re reared, and about the household I was raised in. He’s saying things about the household he was raised in, the type of things that were passed down to us from generation to generation.”
According to the artist, “we weren’t shy about or coy about saying exactly the things we both experienced.”
TobyMac’s The Elements will make its debut on Oct. 12.
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Gospel Music Association)