You hear people talking and wondering what is that about, what am I going to do next, where is my head at. All of those things, believe it or not – even though they hurt me many times – they do help substantiate you as someone that everyone keeps talking about –whether they like your work or not. You can't pay for that.
On a personal level, a lot of people view you as the bad boy of Gospel. How you do feel about that characterization?
I think they're right. I think I'm the James Dean of Gospel... the Eminem of Gospel... the Pink of Gospel. Whoever can speak their voice and hold on to their soul and not have it diluted or feel that they have to change who they are to sell records, that's who I represent. All I'm doing is living my life out loud. The artist who puts it out there and delighting in everything and is cool in the Scripture is not realistic.
I'm not saying they're wrong for doing it. That's just not the type of artist I am. That's not what I want to be doing. Of course, salvation through Jesus Christ but also the realization that there is something going on after the benediction, the stuff that goes on that nobody knows about. I want to be able to live that life so freely that when that person feels that they have no one to talk to or relate to, they know that Ton3x is number one. He's not going to judge but he understands and will do everything in his power to get that person to see that God loves him.
There's always another chapter coming. He does not know how the story is going to end. I'm an example of that. I had to come back out and show that I'm still alive, still breathing, and that I'm okay. It was so public, everything that happened to me, that it also needs to be a public rebound. As much as America loves to see you crash-and-burn, America loves to see a comeback.
So far, the reception has been beautiful. I can't even lie, man. It's been the most welcome, warm, receptive feeling, period. First of all, I gained a certain amount of respect because I'm still here. Regardless of whether they like you or not, people will respect that you're still going.
There is no topic that is taboo for you in your quest for artistic truth. Why do you think your realness or frankness offends traditionalists?