If you were on social media on Monday, April 4, you may have run across the chatter around the celebration of life put on for a rapper named Goonew in a D.C. nightclub.
Born Markelle Morrow, from Maryland, the rapper was shot and killed in District Heights, Maryland on March 18. To honor his life, his family put on an event called “The Last Show” at the popular Bliss Nightclub where the 24-year-old’s body was propped up and put on display. He was dressed in designer clothing, shades and a crown as people danced and listened to music in the crowded space.
Videos from the event made their way around social media quickly, with a lot of the response being shock and some disdain for the display. But in an interview with DC’s Fox affiliate late Monday night, the same day Morrow was officially buried, his mother and sister said the event went just as they planned, and they weren’t worried about what people had to say about it.
“For all the negatives, people probably don’t even know nothing about us,” Patrice Morrow told Fox 5. “They have no idea. People just saying what they want to say and that’s fine. That’s perfectly fine. I’m pleased with how I sent my son away. I wish people would just let me grieve in peace.”
His sister, Ariana, seconded her mother’s statements.
“We’re not trying to clear anything up,” she said. “We don’t care about anybody and what ya’ll have to say negative. Nobody. We don’t care.”
She added, “They’re like, ‘I know his mama wouldn’t approve of that.’ Yeah, she did, she was on stage with us.”
As for Bliss Nightclub, the venue that received the brunt of backlash online, they apologized for any offense the event may have caused, claiming they were unaware of the ins and outs of how it would be.
“Our deepest condolences to Goonew’s family, friends and fans,” the venue wrote in a statement. “Bliss was contacted by a local funeral home to rent out our venue for Goonew’s home-going celebration.”
“Bliss was never made aware of what would transpire. We sincerely apologize to all those who may be upset or offended,” they added. “Please keep Goonew’s family and friends in your prayers at this difficult time.”
While people have had many things to say about the way the rapper was sent off, as his mother stated, this was the way she and those closest to Goonew are grieving his loss. We all grieve differently and that should be respected. Patrice has been sharing her pain since his passing last month.
“I don’t believe this,” she told DC’s CBS affiliate after news broke of the shooting. “All he wanted to do is try to get his family out the hood. He had a heart bigger than his body, when they took him, they took me.”