Toby McKeehan, aka tobyMac, was a Lynchburg, Virginia-based college student, devout Christian, and rap enthusiast, who found some kindred spirits in Kevin Max Smith and Michael Tait. The three formed the rap group DC Talk in 1989, and released three albums that resounded positively with Christian listeners and some mainstream rap fans, too. The turning point for DC Talk came in 1995, when they made themselves over as a rock band, and released their most successful album, JESUS FREAK. This release garnered a bigger and more eclectic fanbase, and helped rocket the CCM movement into the general public consciousness, but proved to be the peak of DC Talk's commercial success. After a few more records, the band members parted ways in 2000 to pursue solo projects.