Popular Baltimore rapper and bartender fatally shot in robbery at recording studio

Michael A. McCoy performed at pop-up venues in Baltimore and the Fridge Art Gallery in Washington.

Michael Anthony McCoy, a rapper who tended the bar at the Catonsville Applebee’s Grill and was hoping to make a career in the music industry, died Nov. 4 at Sinai Hospital after being shot in the 3800 block of Cedar Road in Pikesville. He was 24.

Family members said he died in a robbery while he was at a music studio working on a project. Baltimore County Police spokeswoman, Officer Jennifer Peach, said Tuesday there were no updates in the investigation of Mr. McCoy’s death.


Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Nicole McCoy, who directs the Nail Trix salons. He grew up in Howard County and attended Mayfield Woods Middle School and Long Reach High School. He was a graduate of Dr. Henry Wise High School in Upper Marlboro. He worked at a Bojangles food shop on Route 301 while in high school to pay for his prom suit and shoes.

Mr. McCoy played football and soccer in the Howard County Recreation League.


He began taking an interest in music when he was 12 years old and while in high school posted music he had composed on YouTube.

“I wanted him to go into Christian rap, but he went in the direction of music that is popular in his generation,” his mother said. “He promised me he would do me a song that I would like.”

He enrolled at Baltimore County Community College’s Catonsville campus, where he completed three semesters and was working on a business management degree.

He was also creative about selling shoes.

“We had our own online business called 301 Kicks,” said Marquis Jones of San Antonio, a friend from Prince George’s County. “We bought early releases of tennis shoes, Jordans and Nike, anything we could get early. There were days when he sold far more than I did and he would give me something if I needed it. He was a generous person.”

Mr. Jones also said of his friend, “There were times when Michael made more in one day what it took for him to make at Applebee’s in a month."

Mr. Jones said his friend was on a pathway to becoming a full-time musician.

“He would attract crowds who just loved him,” Mr. Jones said. “They knew the words to his songs before they came in. He put his life experiences into his songs. His music was just him and what he wanted to achieve. He had a piece for every situation. Personally, he was selfless and kind. ... He was good at it. I never remember him being down or depressed."


A bartender at the Applebee’s Grill and Bar on Route 40 West near Rolling Road for about a year, he had earlier been a server there.

“Mike was a big guy, 6-foot, and he was a gentle giant,” said Randall Hurt, an Applebee’s manager. “He was a hard worker, and he was willing to help other people. So many of his regulars were saddened by his loss and later attended his funeral. He treated people with kindness and respect. All the managers liked him.”

In an Instagram post, Mr. McCoy related that as a bartender, he encountered and listened to people in extreme emotional situations, including a woman who was distressed.

“[She was] talking to me about her depression, about her recent divorce and ... sexual abuse from her father ... and how it’s tearing her apart," he posted. He said when she threatened suicide, he told her to stay, “to chill and relax.” He bought her a dessert and a beer, and she sat at his station for the remainder of his shift. She later texted Mr. McCoy that she had made it home safely.

Mr. Hurt said, “For a guy who was 24, Mike had a lot of emotional maturity.”

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In October he flew to Las Vegas and made a video, which he posted on social media.


“He knew a lot of people from his life as a rapper and from the community,” said Crystal Simmons, a co-worker and his hair stylist. “He had a glow on him. He kept it real and would tell you how to live your life in a positive way. He had everyone’s best interests at heart. He touched a lot of people.”

She also said: “He was a good man, an angel on earth. A lot of people liked his style. He was tall and handsome, with long hair. He had a following."

He performed Fridays at small pop-up venues in Baltimore and at the Fridge Art Gallery in Southeast Washington, D.C.

Mr. McCoy used the online name $avyTha$tar.

Services were Nov. 13 at the Wylie Funeral Home.

In addition to his mother, survivors include a sister, Ashley Garrett of Baltimore; a brother, Naim McCoy of Baltimore; and a grandmother, Charlotte McNeal, also of Baltimore.