Angry fans of DMV rapper Goonew were outraged when a video of his body propped up in a nightclub surfaced on social media.
Some thought it was straight out of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” but the truth is often stranger than fiction. Mourners and well-wishers flocked to a nightclub on Sunday, April 3, to pay their respects to the murdered rapper Goonew, but they got much more than they bargained for when they arrived.
The family of Markelle Morrow, whose real name is Markelle Goonew, held a public viewing on Sunday at the Bliss Night Club in Prince George’s County, Maryland, two weeks after he was shot and killed on March 18. Rather than seeing life-sized photos or even a hologram of their loved one, they were shown an embalmed body propped up on a stage in a stylish designer outfit instead of either.
After a video of Goonew’s body was posted online, people were quick to respond.
A social media commotion ensued when video clips of the body’s front and center appearance started making the rounds. Attendees paid $40 to get in and participate in the activities, but many were shocked and more than a little creeped out by the deceased being propped up as if he was overseeing the event himself. Social media had a lot to say about what happened, and while some argued that it was inappropriate and disrespectful to the deceased, others argued that if those were his final wishes, so be it.
This has been done in other cultures as well, according to one commenter. A minor annoyance for me. It’s not just a matter of getting a coffin and some dirt.”
Another chimed in, saying, “It’s crazy that y’all are upset about Goonew’s family decision about how HIS funeral should’ve gone. It doesn’t matter what you think now or what you think then. They did a fantastic job. They did exactly what he was known for and what he would have wanted, if he were still here. Weirdos, you’re the ones.
Others weren’t as enthusiastic about the whole thing. One person said, “I’d haunt my family for humiliating me in this manner.” “You wouldn’t have caught me in there after that,” said another. It seems like you’re all attempting to normalise weirdness.
There has since been a statement from the nightclub where the viewing took place, distancing themselves from what happened and claiming that they were not informed of what would take place in advance. Blois was never informed of what was going to happen, according to the statement. Our sincere apologies to anyone who has been hurt or upset by our actions.”
While viewing a dead body is not a big deal in the Caribbean, they do have similar rituals. A viewing of the body at the National Arena, for example, is customary in Jamaica when a politician or head of state passes away. November 2020 will see one of the final viewings of reggae legend Toots Hibbert’s body.
However, in this case, Goonew’s body was presented to the viewing public while dressed in designer clothing inside a nightclub with a crown on his head, which makes it unique.