TobyMac's Ill-M-I Song Meaning

Ill-M-I is a TobyMac song that makes little sense to the first time listener. After searching the web you will find that there is very little information regarding the meaning of the lyrics. Mac has said in interviews that the song is about the Pharisees, and draws from Jesus’ scathing remarks (in Matthew 23) about people who act like they are righteous, but are actually hypocrites. In this article, I will attempt to explain the meaning of the song line by line. Enjoy! Feel free to add your comments about the meaning of the song below. (The lyrics to the song will be italicized for clarity.)

Source

Ill-M-I, Ill-M-I, Ill-M-I, Ill-M-I and you

I’ve got a problem and so do you

Illuminati comin' thru

The Illuminati were a group of people who referred to themselves as the enlightened ones. Sounds a little snobbish huh? Mac is warning about self righteousness and pride coming through.

Flow like the Cassius, swing like the Clay

Cassius Clay is the real name of a pretty famous boxer who uttered some very similar words. Mohamed Ali “float like a butterfly sting like a bee” Basically he is saying that this rap is of high quality but it has a message that hits hard.

One day, I'm'a make the whole world pay

The whole world will one day be judged for their sins.


With k.o.'s and okay we bash clots-n-dot-dash

You got that right, I'm'a rock the Morse code tonight

Basically, the message is not going to be an easy one to understand. It is going to have to be decoded.

Transmit 'n throwin' fits 'n paparazzi like zits
Get flipped out and squeezed fresh like juicy sun kissed

The purpose of the song is to “flip out and squeeze fresh” “paparazzi like zits”

And what are paparazzi zits? Toby Mac is referring to those who practice righteousness with the sole purpose of gaining attention. Like the Pharisee’s of his day they are no better than zits.

And if I miss with my missles you're still gonna sizzle

If you don’t hear the message, well that’s too bad, there is a punishment.

'Cause I frizzle fry radiation style worldwide

Toby is using a clever cultural reference to say in effect “I’m evangelizing”. Frizzle Fry is an album on which the number one song was “John the Fisherman”. Mac is using this analogy to say that he is a “fisher of men”.

You got your pipeline clogged man get that puppy routed

You are missing the point. You don’t have a real relationship with Jesus.

You got the style down and since you don't know about it

You act like you are righteous but you aren’t, you’re just performing.

Who's the loser (I am) because we come in numb love

Who is not righteous? Me! That is the attitude people should have, one of humility, not pride. Because the message is one of love and forgiveness.

And choicer and did I mention looser (no you didn't)

And it is better and easier because we no longer have to follow all of the rules of the old law.

Then I do sir, producer, hit me with the juice

God, give me the Holy Spirit.


Much obliged got the head of a moose

Thanks, I need it, (speaking of himself) I have a huge ego. (My head is as big as Moose’s)

So mount me on the wall of your livin' room

So humble me, use me as an example
Sure to bring the boom

That will make people talk

Speakin' like a zoom deep into your tomb

Speaking like a “zoom” ,as in, “zoom in”, to your heart. Jesus said in Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean

And if you feel the vibe glide true it's on you

If this is you, its your responsibility to change it

And if you need to drive right through it's on you

If its not, good!

And if your screamin' "moi non plus" it's like

Moi non plus, is French for me neither.

What you tryin' to do when you can't fade the true one

You need to check yourself again, and remember, your glory will never surpass that of Jesus. No matter what you do.

Eruption type volcanics I got the vocal spurtmatic

This is straight from the heart, the message mimics Jesus’ message.

Suction cup hands upside the slammin' daily planet

Got me on this one, I can’t figure it out. Anyone know?

I do windows (on school days) spill Jim Jones (type kool-aid)

I’m cleaning things up, revealing false prophets and pretentious righteousness, (most of us know about the mass suicide created by Jim Jones)

All these primrose (style bouquets) I clip those (for doomsday)

All of these people who think they have it together, Im knocking them off their pedestal.

Got succulent flavor, the uprisen Savior
Manifestin' thru these mics, blastin' out your graveyard

This is straight from the word of God, I’m pointing out your “graveyard”

Savor every bite that TOBYMAC gave ya
Turn and tell your neighbor this ball-o-dirt is goin' into labor

Listen: God could return at any moment.

Matthew 24:7-8 For nation will rise up in armsagainst nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be faminesand earthquakesin various places. Allthese things are the beginning of birth pains.

Ill-M-I is an incredibly artful song, full of metaphors and analogies. I hope my analysis has brought you a little more understanding. If you have any questions, ask them below and I will try to provide a timely answer.

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Comments 40 comments

gabrielle Henderson 5 years ago

Thank you for explaining this song to me! I was just listening to it the other day and I had no idea what he was talking about!

(not clue on the suction cup hands)


alycia 5 years ago

wow, great job picking that apart.. quite impressive! :) btw thanks for being a light online for Jesus!


Trevor Wentt 5 years ago

Suction cup hands upside the slammin' daily planet

I think this one is about him trying to get God's message out and sticking to the truth to give it to the world because The Daily Planet is the newspaper that That Clark Kent worked at and suction cup hand could be sticking to it of staying connected to the good news of Christ because Superman was a savior and Jesus is the savior and bringer of Good News.


Cody 5 years ago

"Suction cup hands upside the slammin' daily planet"

So i don't know what he is saying but the Daily planet is the newspaper that Superman worked for... but spiderman also worked for a newspaper company and the suction cup hands would make more sense there... it sounds kind of like a metaphor for a hero in disguise maybe? idk its marvel and dc comics though, that much I get


Pete 5 years ago

Thanks. On wikis seers someone said Toby meant he was part of illuminati, but I knew that couldn't be true. I just needed evidence. Thanks!!!


Pete Toby 5 years ago

That's good. This song is debated among many, because it seems as if tobymac is bad, but through this, we can see how christian it really is. Also, now if people hear this song on the CD (I have WTDC) and think it's bad, the easiest way to explain it is through this website!!!! UR Awesome, but God is awesomer!!!


jacki 5 years ago

First you did an amazing job with decoding it! But I'm am uneasy about the song and the lack of explanation from the song writer. Toby Mac has been a favorite of mine but the mystery he put out for confusion is not cool. Second the name of his savior didn't come out in the song and he was not clear on what side he stands for.... I don't know about this. I will just continue to keep my eyes on Jesus and ask for discernment. Thanks for your studies!!


Shade' 5 years ago

Thanks for posting this because it has been puzzling me for months. basically since I got the CD, but i knew I could trust the words that Toby Mac sings beacsue he's a true chrisitan I was just a little confused there for a min.


Alicia 5 years ago

WOW, that was horrible. You just completely added your OWN interpretation to the most random lyrics. "Hit me with the juice" means give me the Holy Spirit? How does juice relate to the Spirit of God? this is a song that, no matter what you say, is NOT CHRISTIAN. I don't care what any one says, tobyMac singing this song was a huge mistake. I'm not judging his walk with God, since his music has improved highly since then, but this song is leading people astray and causing confusion, which a Christian shouldn't be inflicting on others. This is a cover of a song by Soul Junk. Ask soul Junk what it's supposed to mean-don't add your own meaning to it.


michael 5 years ago

we all know that this is a cover song did by Soul-junks in 2000? toby just covered it.


Mayra 5 years ago

THANK YOU! I believe we have a few siblings in Christ that are acting just how the songs describe them.RELIGIOUS! You should know that Illuminati has plagued all our media.It is fed by selfish desires. My son is an expert in detecting all its signs in cartoons, TV shows, movies, ads and all over. This song is anointed to open our eyes to this spiritual reality. I read it with that in mind and it takes a whole different meaning! We must stand against the devil and resist him. Wake up! Thank you Toby and may the Lord continue to use you!


JWink 4 years ago

I think you did a fantastic job interpreting these lyrics. In fact, had the suction cups/daily planet line not stumped you, I may have even thought you were Toby himself in disguise. lol I do agree with the other posters about the suction cup/daily planet line that it refers to him sticking to the truth and spreading the news of our superhero/saviour Jesus Christ. One thing that I always heard when I listened to this song even before I understood it completely is the ILL-M-I line.....I have always thought that Toby meant it as "ILL AM I and YOU?" Basically saying that he is sick about the direction this world is going and then asking the listener if they agree. Which is basically the same thing as you stated by saying "I've got a problem and so do you." I am a youth leader and have teens of my own so I try to stay up with all of the latest artist that the kids are listening too and just recently decided to study them a little more. Of course I have always encouraged the kids not to listen to the likes of Little Wayne, Kanye, Jay-Z, Drake, Lady Gaga and such but after some in depth search and watching several videos and noticing all of the hand gestures refering to the Illuminati and Lucifer, I am completely disgusted and intend on doing a lesson and enlightening these kids on just what their favorite artist stand for. This is even deeper and more dangerous than just the sexual, violent and materialistic lyrics of the song. I have had some parents combat me with that their kids only listen to the beat and don't pay attention to the words anyway but there are too many subliminal messages in these songs to be so careless with our children. Thank You again and I intend to use this song and your lyric break down as part of my lesson.


cant say 4 years ago

Hey thanks for explaining this song to me. I just heard it today and I was totally confused. I looked at the comments on youtube for this song and most of them were saying how tobyMac is part of the illuminati. It really bothers me because they probably dont even know any of his other song. I also saw this website that was saying how tobyMac sings for the devil. I got me kind of worried but your explanation really helped

(sorry if there are any spelling mistakes. I cant spell very well plus Im alittle dislexic so i cant always tell if its right or not)


cant say 4 years ago

sorry i spelled dyslexic wrong told you i cant spell


anony 4 years ago

Suction cup hands could be a reference to Spiderman with Daily Planet Superman.


RET 4 years ago

PEOPLE WAKE UP!!!! I say this out of love guys. He has OCCULT IMAGERY on almost EVERY one of his albums. Why else do you see all of those all seeing "EYE" pictures on his album covers??? Why is he singing about the "illuminati?" Do you think it could be because he is mocking everyone that has not made the connection? I hope the author of this article is just an optimist and not intentionally trying to delude the readers from researching this issue properly. I am not God and therefor can not judge this man's heart but the Bible clearly states that bad fruit will come from a bad tree (Matt 7:17). THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!!!! JUST LOVE JESUS, REPENT and RENOUNCE THE WORLD!

Matthew 7:15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."


LightBurns 4 years ago

Weird, I would agree he does have some occult imagery on some albums. However I have yet to Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny so i'm okay so far. Just having an eye on a picture shouldn't really make you freak out, at least not as much as the obvious pagan celebrations Christianity has embraced with open arms and no discernment. Before attacking this song you should look into your own beliefs a bit deeper. Here's one for you as well, JESUS CHRIST is not the name of Jesus.

Also btw the lyrics of this song are ILL M I. As an I AM ILL. I don't think an "illuminati" would make fun of their name in a song to this extent.

Also I have been to plenty of different concerts with Toby Mac and have listened to him speak at different occasions. He definitely has a business side but he also seems legitimately a flawed human trying to worship God the best he knows how, what more can we ask?


chris 4 years ago

your an idiot


Val 4 years ago

There is no need to use that kind of language. I mean he took the time to try and help people. If you didn't like it, keep your opinion to yourself. For the record I think he did a good job trying to interpret it. Thanks


Zack 4 years ago

I was doing a little bit of research and apparently the Daily Planet is a fictional newspaper commonly seen in Superman comics.


Ember Hawk 4 years ago

"Suction cup hands upside the slammin' daily planet," sounds like the Daily Planet globe (that's on top of the newspaper tower) is falling down (like in the Superman Returns film), and he is keeping it from crushing everything with his suction-cup hands that are connected to the top of it. (Suction-cup hands are connected to the top of the falling Daily Planet globe).

Like - the globe fell, and he's flying down towards it to catch it before it lands on everybody.

The metaphor or analogy would be - he's saving you from disaster.

Of course, this song wasn't originally by Toby, and it was written a while ago. I don't know if the Daily Planet globe ever fell off the tower in the older Superman films, so this could be way off, but it seems to make perfect sense.


Seth James 4 years ago

If you are CHRISTIANS, do not allow be fooled by this FALSE interpretation of Toby Macs song, As CHRISTIANS we are to avoid even the appearance of evil. So why is TOBY MAC using SATANIC IMAGES?????? Also why is there even a debate over this? It says we are to be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.

As surely as the Lord lives, this song does not worship the Lord our God.

If it does not worship him who does it?

This comment made on :http://illuminati-music.blogspot.com/2011/04/toby-...

better explains the lyrics, which Toby Mac could not even try to do well.. Nor does he act as if he is shocked at such an accusation, or concerned by it.

" When on saw his advertisement for his recent tour, I was shocked, "EYE ON IT". It is a big EYE. Look it up. Could he get any more blatant than that?! So, I started closely examining the lyrics of his songs and was so disturbed, especially with the "Il-m-i" song. For those of you who think this is all crazy, trust me, I don't want to believe this either. I grew up on DC Talk. I tried to prove myself wrong, but when I analyzed this song among many others, I realized. HE knows exactly what he is doing. The song states:

Flow like the Cassius, swing like the Clay

One day, I'm'a make the whole world pay

**Cassius is the guy who plotted to kill Julius Ceasar and is the name of a very popular song, which means two-faced. Don't believe me, google it and read the wikipedia article.

"With k.o.'s and okay we bash clots-n-dot-dash

You got that right, I'm'a rock the Morse code tonight"

**Toby is telling us he is speaking in code. This is why the song doesn't make sense, but he is speaking loud and clear.

..."And if I miss with my missles you're still gonna sizzle

'Cause I frizzle fry radiation style worldwide"

**Many say that high levels of radiation will be used to depopulate the world, in order for the illumanti to establish the New World Order. That is why people are rejecting their smart meters.

..."Then I do sir, producer, hit me with the juice

Much obliged got the head of a moose

So mount me on the wall of your livin' room

Sure to bring the boom

Speakin' like a zoom deep into your tomb"

***He is a trophy for his producer, being used to bring death.

"I do windows (on school days) spill Jim Jones (type cool-aid)

All these primrose (style bouquets) I clip those (for doomsday)"

*** This is probably the most disturbing part of the song, besides "Illuminati comin' through." He is spilling Jim Jones kool-aid to cut the bouquet of the bride of Christ for doomsday. Primrose bouquets are what a bride carries walking down the aisle, symbolic of her beauty and purity.

This got me thinking. His music is not worship at all. You can't enter into the presence of God with his music. This type of music makes us feel good but is a substitute. "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with Praise." We enter into the Holy of Holies, and experience true intimacy with Christ through praise.

Google John Todd, who is ex-illumanti. He talks about how the occult controls the music industry. We need to be aware and not be deceived."

May you gain discernment from our Lord Jesus Christ,

may you also be able to part with Idols, and not allow yourself to get self defensive, may you be able to look at this with unbiased eyes.

Peace be with you!


Celine Cabrera 4 years ago

I SUPER THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS. I WAS SO RELIEVED.

I just had this insight.

"Not because there's an EYE on a picture, doesn't mean it's illuminati already. WE ALL HAVE EYES. What? If I cover my other eye, does it mean I'm illuminati already? No, right? WE CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER."

"I DON'T wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul."

(lyrics from his song LOSE MY SOUL)

Try to listen to tobyMac's song LOSE MY SOUL, it pretty much explains that tobyMac's not part of the illuminati.

AND PLEASE, LET US NOT JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE JUST BY WHAT WE SEE OR HEAR. WE DON'T KNOW TOBYMAC PERSONALLY. AND BESIDES, IF HE IS AN ILLUMINATI, THEN WHY WOULD HE WRITE SUCH GREAT SONGS TO GLORIFY THE LORD.

EYE ON 'IT' - EYE ON 'THE CROSS'

-LET'S FIX OUR EYES UNTO JESUS, AND WHAT HE DID ON THE CROSS

God bless us all. LET'S FOCUS OUR EYES ON JESUS.


daniel 3 years ago

idk if tobys illuminati but it seems it but hopefully its not him its whos working for him


daniel 3 years ago

i like toby macs music and all but this illuminati stuff scares me right?

Well hopeful tobys clean :D


:) 3 years ago

Thanks soooo much...:) i heard this song, and was like, "ummmm, why's tobymac singing about illuminati??" so thanks for clearing that up....:)


Rodney 3 years ago

This is copied and pasted strait from Tobymac.com

What is the song "Ill-M-I" about?

The "Ill-M-I" song was originally done by an artist called Soul-Junk. I talked to Glenn Galaxy (the songwriter) a lot before I put that song on the record because I wanted to know exactly what he was writing about. It's the only song I've really ever covered ... I just loved the feel and the flow of it so much—it's just raw hip hop.

What people should know about this lyric is that "ill am I" actually means "broken am I." The next line says "and you, illuminati coming through" - illuminati is defined as "persons possessing, or claiming to possess, superior enlightenment."

So when I talked to Glenn, he confirmed that the song was really speaking out against a Pharisee-type attitude, aka "holier than thou." So the chorus is saying, "broken am I, and you, those who claim to possess superior enlightenment, are coming through," as in, "YOU'RE spiritually enlightened, YOU have it all together. [sarcasm implied]" But of course, they really don't, and the song stands to remind us that we're all broken.

Obviously I've been made aware that there's supposedly a secret society called "the Illuminati" that dates back for years … but I don't know much about it beyond that. I know I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and that neither the song "Ill M I" nor the album artwork was intended to refer to that usage of the word illuminati. It just has nothing to do with my world or following Jesus or raising my kids and loving my wife.


michelle 3 years ago

I think it about : yes sticking to the word of God but also bring the kingdom culture /His revelation knowledge front page news . It all all a heart check before a reck. To recognize and keep your eyes on the prize. Cause He's commin!


Noah 3 years ago

Soul Junk was the original singer of Ill-M-I, but Toby Mac made sure he knew what he was singing before he sang it. After he heard the song, he talked to Glenn Galaxy for the meaning of the song. He makes sure he understands what he is saying before he says it which shows a true Christian. He has his answer to what the song means on his website here.

http://tobymac.com/faq


EHHH 3 years ago

Ok, if that is your explanation of what you mean by "Illuminati" then why the eye symbol???? I was at the concert in Jax FL and the screen behind you had a pyramid flashing on it........PLEASE EXPLAIN......


KIM 3 years ago

Seth James you are soooo right!!! I'm a Christian also but pls, being a christian doesn't mean we should all be lovey dovey and naïve at all times, even the LORD JESUS warned us, of WOLVES in SHEEPS' clothing. Don't be deceived. We are not of this world remember. We change the world through God's grace. AMEN to that. To those people who want to know the real meaning of this song go to Seth James's comment.


KIM 3 years ago

and obviously, we all know that the devil wants is to steal, kill and destroy. I mean people, would he really tell you "yes i'm a part of the iluminati" of course he won't!! but then again, let are hearts not be troubled, because God is bigger than all things. Satan is the ruler of this world. We don't belong in this world. We already have a place in heaven! Jesus has set a place for us in His throne ---- of course being a christian means we LIVE RIGHT and HOLY. we sin from time to time, as GOD have said, but through God's grace we, HE is changing us, we are a work in progress. satan is not in hell, he is lurking, plotting schemes to push people away from God. SO always be on your guard, read your bible, talk to GOD, and live right :)


Anonym 2 years ago

No"... Just look his official website http://tobymac.com/faq There's a answers, and it's not originally his song, so he take care to put this song because there's "Illuminate" Word... And I just want to explain I've reading thousand about All Seeing eyes, actually this symbols belongs to God, but Lucifer want it, Lucifer imitate all thing from God,.. So don't judge I heard many song of Toby mac, and my favorite is Made to Love,.. I also found he's praying while concert, and there's christian song hear "Lose My Soul" album Alive and Transported... Consider it and God Bless


unknown 2 years ago

just went to tobymacs concert yesterday. and if he is "illuminati" then he is doing an awful job of deceiving everyone... telling us that the only way we make it to heaven is through the forgiveness of our sins by Jesus Christ alone.. i guess some non-christians may have been accidentally told the truth...

God knows where tobymacs heart is at and we will all find out on judgement day. Focus more on your relationship with Jesus and follow him always reading the word.


Kenny 2 years ago

...and we further the deception. This is an 8th grade interpretation of this song. Ridiculous.


LLizzo 2 years ago

Thank you ao much! Me and my kids love TMac and Lecrae and i be like whos lids are you flipping with the illumination cryptin?!? So glad i found this to cease and desist my trippin ... Jesus Christ is KING and He don't need no double dippin! TMac and Lecrae do so much more fancy flipping! His Kingdom's Soldiers they're equipin ! ...im done ',=°)


Anonymous 17 months ago

Thank you so much! I love TobyMac and all the Christian Comtemperary Artists, but this song had me confused. I read on this website that TobyMac was an illuminati, and I was nearly convinced. After reading the Faq on his website, I found out the true meaning of this song, but I still wanted to know what the other lyrics meant. Thx so much.


wakeuppeople 15 months ago

So the author didn't actually talk to tobymac. So we dont have tobymac interpretation of the lyrics. So we really have no idea what the lyrics mean.

As they say if it walks like a duck, acts like a duck and talks like a duck, you people will say it's a dog because some guy on the internet says so.

Wake up your churches have been taken over.

Wake up your a sheep being led to the slaughter. Your churches have been taken over.


Lucie 13 months ago

Only TobyMac himself know his relation with our savior. All I can say is that, this song did not help many people if we have to speculate about the meaning. Why Toby himself can't interprete each line? a Christians song suppose to lift up a nonpoetic person like me, no interpretation need! What about the "all seeing eye" , "Pyramid sign" "el diablo sign" he display ? please don't create confusion. Still hope that all those signs are just coincidence. May the Lord be with us all.


Daniël 6 months ago

I guess i should call my old math teacher because damn, he loved them pyramids and used them all the time on tests.

But all jokes aside. Just because there is an eye, doesn't immediately mean "illuminati" and claiming that all usage of eyes and pyramids is the devils work is simply preposterous.

Are the lyrics to this song confusing? sure, i'm not arguing about that.

Is the explanation to this song as described on this page? kinda unlikely to be honest, but close enough.

Is this song devil worship from the illuminati? LMAO! But no.

Just checking out his other songs and how he speaks at his performances tells us enough about his relationship with God and that there's nothing wrong with his music.

From the same album: "Catchafire": "Gonna catch a fire for God". A song about not being lukewarm but being on fire for God.

"The Slam": "Stacked the sins of this world to his body

And conquered evil and hell

Then snatched the keys of death in one breath and unlocked the cell

He rose on the third

I'm tellin' you partner, its actual fact"

This entire song is about how Jesus is "the slam" and how he redeemed us all by his sacrifice.

"Atmosphere": "But hold up and let the river rush in

You can turn around and start livin' again

Cause your life is a beautiful bloom

In the image of the one that created you "

This song is less preachy and more personal but still holds a strong christian message even without saying God or Jesus (because come on, we don't need to say Jesus or God in every single of our sentences to still know we're talking to/about Jesus/God right?)

The song "Burn for You" is a perfect example of this. He never says "God" or "Jesus", instead he only uses "You". Does this somehow make it worth any less as a song that's intended to worship God? To some maybe, but knowing that in my intimate conversations with God, I also tend to say "You" a lot, not in the least for me.

Essentially what i'm trying to say is this: Don't go along with these people who want to say that everything that sounds even remotely worldly or has a triangle in it (actually the symbol used to signify The Holy Trinity for a looooooooong time) is somehow illuminati. Don't forget that the apostle Paul also adjusted his way of speaking to the crowds when he was in Greece to reason as the philosophers did in that day and age (in Athens he quotes two pagan philosophers to make a statement about the "god" Zeus). He adjusted his approach so people would accept what he said easier. So if the great apostle Paul does it, why complain when an artist does the same to reach as many people possible with his music?

Well, I've already spent too much time writing this comment on a very old post but if anyone reads this, I hope that our God of mercy and grace gives you wisdom and helps you in making your own decision about all of this.

God bless.

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