RIP Truett Foster McKeehan — How Christian Rapper TobyMac's Son Died At 21

Photo: youtube
How Did Truett McKeehan Die? Details On Death Of Christian Rapper's Son
Entertainment And News

He was only 21 years old.

Christian rapper TobyMac, also known as Kevin McKeehan, and his family confirmed that their 21-year-old son Truett McKeehan died unexpectedly on October 23, 2019 of an accidental overdose of fentanyl and amphetamines.

Truett Foster McKeehan went by the names Truett Foster, TRU, Shiloh, and truDog online, and was an aspiring musician who collaborated with his father on a few tracks.

He was working on carving out his own career in the same Christian rap arena as his father and was considered a promising talent. He recently played his first big show, which his father attended. 

"My last moment with Truett in person was at his first show this past Thursday at the Factory in Franklin, Tennessee," the Grammy winner said. "I had to leave the next morning very early to fly and start our Canadian tour. As I stood in the audience and watched my son bring joy to a room, I was as proud as a 'pop' (as Tru called me) could be. It was the culminating moment of a dream that he had since he was 12. It couldn’t have been sweeter. Our music, and what we say lyrically couldn’t be more."

RELATED: Lexii Alijai Dead: Rising Rap Star Dies At 21 From Accidental Overdose

Now, the family and fans are mourning the talented young musician's death.

Details about Truett McKeehan's life & death

It was a sudden loss.

The McKeehan family was stunned by the death of Truett in October 2019. Entertainment Tonight confirmed that he passed away, after speaking to a representative for the family. In January 2020, it was officially confirmed that McKeehan had died of an accidental drug overdose.

He was a fledgling musician.

McKeehan moved to Los Angeles in 2018 to pursue a music career. TobyMac was happy to see his son making his own way in the music industry and was supportive of his career, but he knew the difficulties a new musician can face.

In an interview last year, he spoke about watching his son learn the business and even wrote the song "Scars" as a way of showing support even in hard times. 

“He moved to L.A. and he’s making music and he’s doing his thing. But to watch him go through that, and watch him get bruised, it’s not easy. So that’s one of the ways life has changed. In that song, I just want him to know he’s not alone,” TobyMac said.

Truett McKeehan is remembered for his "grand personality."

In a heartfelt tribute to his son on Instagram in October 2019, TobyMac wrote of the place McKeehan held in their family, saying how he bought joy into the world.

"Truett Foster Mckeehan had joy that took the room when he entered. He was a magnetic son and brother and friend," he wrote. "If you met him, you knew him, you remembered him. His smile, his laugh, the encouragement he offered with words or even without. He had an untamable grand personality and dreams to match. And he hated being put in a box." 

And he desired to make his own path.

TobyMac said that his son showed musical talent early and could easily have started in the business well before now. But, his son wanted to take his own path into the music business. 

“He expressed himself through the music he made. And by made I mean, written, recorded, produced, mixed and designed the art. All of it. A true artist,” the rapper said. “Everyone felt it, everyone knew it. He could’ve easily taken the easy route and put music out when he was 12, 14, 16, even 18, but he always said he wanted to live some life and have something to say before he did it. He didn’t want to be a child star, he wanted to be a man with scars and a story to tell. I always admired, respected and encouraged that stand."

RELATED: RIP Kobe Bryant — Basketball Great; Daughter Gianna, 13, Amongst Those Dead In A Helicopter Crash

He was devoted to religion.

Like his father, Truett was a deeply religious person. TobyMac is best known as a Christian rapper and his son wanted to make music that reflected that passion. But TobyMac wanted people to know that his son's faith was a deep commitment. 

“Truett always had a soft spot for God. The Bible moved him. His heart was warm to the things of his King,” TobyMac wrote. “He was by no means a cookie-cutter Christian but give me a believer who fights to keep believing. Give me a broken man who recognizes his need for a Savior every time. That’s who Truett was and how he should be remembered.”

There was an outpouring of love and support on Twitter.

Twitter came out in droves to send sympathy and well-wishes to TobyMac and his family.

TobyMac spoke out about his loss.

One month after the death of his son, the Christian rapper posted a series of an emotional messages to Twitter saying:

"As we enter this week of Thanksgiving we have something we’d like to share... Such overwhelming love has surrounded us this last month. We still don’t quite know which end is up but we do KNOW, we are loved.

"As we mourn our firstborn son, God has poured out His love on us through people. He has loved us through you....your kind acts and words and prayers and thoughts and songs and poems and teachings and gifts and meals and time and expertise and travel have made death bearable. You have been God’s light to us in our darkest days... a comfort to our broken hearts.

"We have experienced family at every layer and every turn. From the closest to those who have loved from a distance, thank you, thank you a thousand times over. We are grateful for your gentle and compassionate hearts. It is something we will never forget. Community as it should be...the body at its best. How God must be pleased!

"Also- We’ve been encouraging ourselves to stand on this...the place of death is actually where all that we believe is most significant. That God has the power to do what he promised, defeat death and give life to anyone who believes. So from the valley of the shadow of death we pray a flood of thankfulness will rise this week. Thankfulness to a kind God who is not afraid. The Father of the Heavenly lights...who shines most beautifully in the darkness, and gives us everything we need."

Truett McKeehan died of an accidental overdose.

McKeehan's autopsy was complete in October 2019, but the medical examiners said the results wouldn't be final for quite some time. 

“The body remains here with us, and additional testing is required to determine the cause of death,” Davidson County Medical Coroner's office said. The coroner said there was no suspicion of foul play. 

It wasn't until a few months later, in January 2020, when his death was confirmed to be an accidental drug overdose. A representative for TobyMac revealed that the rapper's son died from a mix of amphetamines and fentanyl. He is survived by his parents and four siblings.

TobyMac also penned a tribute to his late son earlier in January. The new song was titled "21 Years" and the rapper shared a clip from the music video on his Instagram page, writing: 

"'21 years' is a song I wrote about the recent passing of my firstborn son, Truett Foster McKeehan. I loved him with all my heart. Until something in life hits you this hard, you never know how you will handle it. I am thankful that I have been surrounded by love, starting with God’s and extending to community near and far that have walked with us and carried us every day. 

"Writing this song felt like an honest confession of the questions, pain, anger, doubt, mercy and promise that describes the journey I’m probably only beginning. One thing I know is that I am not alone. God didn’t promise us a life of no pain or even tragic death, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us. And I’m holding dearly to that promise for my son as well as myself.”

In a separate post from January, he opened up to his followers about how difficult the last few months had been after losing his son. 

“Part of my process has always been to write about the things I’m going through, but this went to a whole new level. What started out as getting some of my thoughts and feelings about losing my firstborn son down on paper, ended up a song," he said. "'21 Years' is a song I never wanted to write. I hope it’s for someone out there, or maybe it’s just for me.”

RELATED: MTV Star Dead At 23: How Did Alexis Eddy Die?

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side.

Author
Writer