Truett Foster McKeehan, TobyMac’s oldest son, has died tragically at the age of 21, a representative for the Christian rapper confirmed to Heavy.com. Tobymac’s representative did not comment on the circumstances of McKeehan’s death other than to say that he had passed away on Wednesday, October 23, at a home in the 3000 block of Harlin Drive. The home is located seven miles south of Nashville. Paramedics were called to the home at around 11 a.m. on October 23 after a friend found McKeehan unresponsive. The 911 caller said that McKeehan had suffered from a cardiac arrest. Officials told Heavy.com exclusively that there is no foul play suspect in McKeehan’s tragic passing.
McKeehan was the oldest child of TobyMac and Amanda McKeehan. In addition to his parents, McKeehan is survived by his siblings, twins, Moses and Marlee, as well as his brothers, Leo and Judah. Moses McKeehan suffers from muscular dystrophy.
At the time of his son’s death, TobyMac was on tour in Canada, according to his official website. The rapper’s concerts in Edmonton and Calgary on October 24 and 25 have been canceled.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McKeehan Had Been Rapper in His Own Right, Going by the Name, ‘Truett Foster’
According to his YouTube channel, McKeehan was an aspiring rapper with several pseudonyms including Truett Foster, TRU, truDog and Shiloh. On his Instagram page, McKeehan goes by the name Truett Foster. In the bio on that profile, McKeehan writes, “f*** everybody grew up with.?.”
McKeehan has collaborated with his father on multiple songs including, “Extreme Days,” “Gotta Go,” “LoudNClear” and “Hype Man.”
2. McKeehan Was a Member of the Group HySociety
The SoundCloud page associated with the account says that McKeehan was based in Nashville. The last update to the page came in May 2019 when McKeehan uploaded the song, “Eyes.” McKeehan also had a profile on Genius.com, where he is described as “both an independent rapper, as well as a part of the group HySociety.” McKeehan was partnered in the group fellow Nashville-based performer, Bo Smith.
3. His Father Wrote the Song, ‘Scars,’ to Remind His Son That He Would Never Be Alone
In 2018, TobyMac told the Tennesseean that the song “Scars” was about his changing relationship with his son. The song appeared on the album, “The Elements.” The rapper said that the pair’s relationship began to change when McKeehan moved out of the family home. TobyMac described his family home as a “safe harbor” and his son was “going and facing this world… To watch and see him get cut and get bruised, it’s not easy.” TobyMac added that McKeehan had moved to Los Angeles and that through the song “Scars’ he wanted his son to know that “he’s not alone.”
In a separate interview regarding the song, TobyMac said that as parents it’s an instinct to protect your children from “life’s hardships.” Toby Mac said, “So to see them go out there and do this real world it’s painful. I wrote this one for my boy. I wanted to let him know that I’m here for him and God is there for him. So lift your head my son to where your help comes from.”
Mac told Billboard Magazine in September 2018 that “Scars” was the closest thing to a favorite song on the album, “The Elements.” Mac told the magazine, “I had a few people in mind when I wrote it, but subconsciously I started focusing on Truett, my firstborn son, talking to him a little about what life is throwing at him. I wanted him to know that he’s not alone when the world might get the best of him from time to time. When he looks up and he’s got some scars, I wanted him to know that we all face those things and that he’s not alone in it.”
4. McKeehan’s Final Instagram Post Has Become Littered With Fans Paying Their Respects
McKeehan made his last Instagram post on October 19. The post was a video of McKeehan performing. He wrote in the caption of the video, “last night it all kinda came together… thank you to everyone who has supported me through the thick and thin.” As news of his death spread, fans and friends rushed to the post to pay their respects.
One fan wrote, “We love you Truett. Sending Prayers to you and your family. ❤️.” While another said, “Prayers up brother. Always jealous of the talent you had. Sorry for making you sign that autograph when you were 12. Rest easy buddy.”
5. TobyMac Has Called His Son, a ‘Gifted Artist & Lover of God’
In September 2018, TobyMac celebrated McKeehan’s birthday in a tweet where he referred to the 21-year-old as a “gifted artist” and a “love of God.” Mac added that his son was “the life of the part, friend to all, creative soul, apple of my eye.”
A year earlier Mac celebrated his son in an Instagram post in which the rapper made reference to his son’s move to the West Coast. Mac wrote, “Happy Birthday to my Number 1 son…firstborn. And now west side citizen. So proud of him! Fly my yout, fly. And always remember where our help comes from….”