McKeehan, an aspiring rapper who performed and recorded under the names Truett Foster, truDog, TRU and Shiloh, died at his Nashville home either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, a representative from the family confirmed.
Further, the representative’s statement indicated that TobyMac was out of the country when his son died.
“Toby was traveling back from Canada and did not get home to be with his family until after midnight last night so there is no statement. We just ask that everyone please be respectful of their privacy during this time and allow them to grieve their loss.”
TobyMac (real name: Kevin Michael McKeehan) grew up down the road from Washington, D.C., and teamed up with Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith to form DC Talk, one of the first Contemporary Christian Music acts to find success through rap.
Truett, born September 4, 1998, appeared on various albums and songs produced by his father, either through his work with DC Talk or in his father’s later solo career, where he was credited as either “TruDog” or “TRU.”
However, it seems as though Truett’s affinity for the Christian rap of his father had gone by the wayside at the time of his death. As Christian Post succinctly puts it, he was “not a Christian artist.”
For example, one song, “I’m Not,” makes frequent references to alcohol and smoking. A photo on his Instagram page shows him making what appears to be a sexually-explicit gesture referencing oral sex.
In fact, it appears as if Truett and his father may have been estranged at the time of his death. On his Instagram bio, Truett had written, “F*ck everybody grew up with.”
Similarly, Truett’s father wrote a song, “Scars,” in which he laments the state of his relationship with his oldest son.
“Now you won’t take my phone calls/ You won’t text me back at all.”
Similarly, in a 2018 interview, Toby spoke of the pain at seeing his son earning his hard knocks.
“To watch and see him get cut and get bruised, it’s not easy,” he said at the time.
Truett is survived by his father; his mother, Amanda; and four siblings: twins Moses and Marlee, and brothers Leo and Judah.
This is not the first time the child of a prominent Christian musician died at an early age. Back in 2008, as The Christian Post reported at the time, Steven Curtis Chapman’s five-year-old daughter Maria died in a tragic accident.