DC Talk has spent over ten years exploring the depths of Christian music and coming back with a sound that everyone loves with a message that everyone understands. Toby Mac, Michael Tait and Kevin Max are names every Christian teen’s parents are probably very familiar with, since the trio has changed Christian music and overcome seemingly insurmountable social obstacles to reach their audience. Their albums include an ecletic mix of rock, pop and (most famously) rap, which has earned them countless music awards in both the Christian and secular worlds. Toby Mac has also branched out to work on solo projects, and helps produce other artists (such as Out of Eden and Sonicflood) on his Goatee Records label. Michael Tait works on his songwriting in the group’s downtime, and Kevin likes to focus on his poetry.
They perform energy-packed concerts to sold out audiences, and their media projects in video have broken new ground in evangelism. These songs chart their progress from popular music group to Christian culture icons:
1. Free At Last
The title song for their 1990 album, “Free At Last” shows the old school rap roots for DC Talk. Many fans still count this among their absolute favorites.
2. Jesus Freak
The title song for their 1995 album. A seemingly derogatory title, the song actually explores the Christian reaction to the term and shows youth how it’s actually an honor.
3. In the Light
Found on their 2000 “Intermission” album, the song puts to music the struggle every Christian has against their tendency to stray from the path lit by faith. This is one of two songs from DC Talk that radio stations still consistently play.
4. Into Jesus
This song is from the 1998 “Supernatural” album. It combines serious subject matter with smooth-flowing lyrics, rejoicing in the Christian faith and encouraging other Christian youth to rejoice in it as well.
5. What If I Stumble?
As amazon.com puts it, this song (on their 1997 “Welcome To the Freak Show” album) is a “self-examination of the lure of fame and the soul of a Christian artist.” The words in “What If I Stumble” could be applied to anyone, as pride is something we all tend to struggle with.
6. The Hardway
From their old school “Free At Last” (1990) album, this song broke ground back in its time with hard-hitting lyrics that didn’t hold back. Along the same line as their later “What If I Stumble?” song, “The Hardway” features reflection on the life of a sorrowful man that just can’t seem to learn until he gets in over his head.
7. Colored People
Found on their 1995 “Jesus Freak” album, “Colored People” and its attention-grabbing title praises God for creating diversity among the human race and teaches how all skin colors were created by the same Artist. The celebratory tone doesn’t detract from the serious nature of the song, instead complementing it with well-planned lyrics.
8. What Have We Become?
Another reflection song on the same “Jesus Freak” album, the lyrics tear at the soul with heart-wrenching images of lives left in pieces. Very different from their usual fare, this is not something to listen to if you want to stay in a good mood, but a powerful song nonetheless.
9. Say the Words
Found on the 1990 “Free At Last” album and remade in 2000 for “Intermission”, “Say the Words” is a commentary on the difference between love and lust and the blurring of that line by today’s social standards. It mentions the true meaning of love and stresses the importance of keeping that real meaning alive.
10. My Will
Also on the 2000 “Intermission” album, this song relates the Christian’s determination to stay true to his beliefs, with lyrics leaving no room for interpretation. It emphasizes the importance of God’s will in Christian life, and how all things – including individual will – should come second. The strong resolution behind the lyrics mixed with the newly formed sound identifying DC Talk’s music today make this my final favorite pick for their Top Ten songs.