To the guy nailed in the coffin, I hope it’s nice above the lights

by Katelyn Massarelli

“Self Care” was one of Mac Miller’s newest singles off his new album Swimming released this summer. In the music video, it starts out with his still body moving around in a coffin nailed shut. Just him and a flashlight. Watching it now, leaves one with an eerie feeling.

The known rapper Mac Miller was found dead in California after an apparent overdose on Sept. 7. He was 26 years old. This comes just two months after being charged on two counts of driving under the influence after hitting a power pole in San Fernando Valley with his Mercedes Benz G-Wagon.

The rapper was open about battles with drug addiction as he’s spoken about it in multiple interviews along with using his experiences with addiction in his music.

“I really wouldn’t want just happiness,” Miller said in an interview with Vulture published days before his death. “And I don’t want just sadness either. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to be able to have good days and bad days.”

As a fan of his, the news broke my heart. He was just shy of the 27 club, claiming the deaths of celebrities like Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse who were 27 years old when they died. To see the suffering of an artist who made legendary contributions to the hip hop and rap industry, is what makes this loss so hard.

To me, he was the hip grandpa riding around partying on Fifth Ave., he was the rapper who didn’t care if he was offensive as long as his lyrics mattered and above all the little kid rapping away on his Best Day Ever.

As sad as it is, he became his music. He became the guy nailed in his coffin who will be remembered for his music and his suffering. He’s not the only one.

We still remember Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and some of the artists before our times who were gone to young. We even fear the struggles of stars we’ve come to know like Demi Lovato who relapsed on her sobriety and overdosed this past summer.

Mac Miller’s death, I hope, will serve as a reminder that addiction and mental illness is a powerful force throughout the music industry. They are humans too.

I saw Mac Miller as an invincible celebrity, and I know better now.

As noted by many other artists in the industry, he will be missed for his lyrics, his contributions and the impact he made within the industry. Another artist gone too soon.

Mac Miller, you’ll always be the hip grandpa, the rapper and the real person just like me and everyone else. Your “Self Care” lyrics still play in my head.

To the guy nailed in the coffin, I hope it’s nice above the lights and that you admire the life you made. You’re free.

Katelyn Massarelli can be reached at

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