It won't take you long after the opening strains of "Toby's back" from the opening track ofWelcome To Diverse Cityto realize that yes indeed, Toby Mac is back with his second solo effort and follow-up to the superbMomentum. It's apparent from the beginning … see full wiki
While I was in high school and college in the early/mid 90's, I dived headfirst into Christian music. I'm not talking about Sandi Patti, Amy Grant, and Steve Green. I'm talking about rock groups such as Petra, PFR, acoustic rockers Jars of Clay and bands such as the Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline. The one band that I often steered clear of was DC Talk. Why? Because everyone I talked to would tell me that they were a rap act and, well, I really don't like rap that much. Well, when "Jesus Freak" was released, I took notice of DC Talk. They weren't just a rap band. They were much more than that. I eventually went on to purchase more of their work and came to appreciate their mixed bag of genres and even enjoy the rap tunes.
Although I haven't heard "Momentum," I decided to pick up "Welcome To Diverse City" because I heard "The Slam" on one of the "X" compilation albums. Tobymac is in top-notch form here. One of the greatest things about his music is that you cannot label it as just rap, rock, hip-hop, or anything else. He literally crosses multiple genres, often in the same song. Each and every song on this album is unique and at the same time equal to every other song on the disc. You'll hear rap, hard rock, traces of nu-metal, soul, hip-hop, and techno music. It's all delivered with a solid, Christ-centric message of love, salvation, and evangelization. My favorite songs include "The Slam," "Diverse City," "Catchafire" and "Burn for You."
If you enjoy today's many secular hip-hop, rap, and rock artists, check out Tobymac. His message is a positive one that you can actually play around the children without worry. It's nice to hear a guy with such talent using his skills to promote Jesus Christ. In a world of homogenized pop and rock (both secular and Christian), Tobymac is a breath of fresh air that deserves more attention than he is getting.