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A popular nightclub in Washington D.C. has been slammed with an outpour of criticism for hosting the memorial party of 24-year-old slain Maryland rapper Goonew. Viral footage from the event captured the body of the burgeoning hip hop star standing upright on stage as a crowd of attendees partied in the packed nightclub in honor of the young rapper, who was fatally shot back in March near Pennsylvania Avenue in District Heights, Maryland. Here’s what we know about the event.


Goonew’s homegoing party was called “The Last Show”

Goonew’s memorial service was thrown on April 3 at Bliss Nightclub, according to the New York Post. Multiple videos from the rapper’s public viewing showed crowd goers partying and smiling during the unorthodox service. Goonew’s body was propped up in a corner on stage, donning an iced-out crown, watch, hoodie, and a pair of glasses.

A source who attended the service, which was entitled “The Last Show,” told The Shade Room, that mourners were charged a $40 cover fee to enter the venue.

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Social Media reacts to Goonew’s service

Shortly after the video went viral, fans and critics flocked to social media, condemning the nightclub and Goonew’s family for throwing the morbid event.

“Seeing Goonew’s body in the club like that as a funeral was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen,” wrote one person on Twitter.

While another social media user chimed in:

” I get the idea of Goonew’s funeral it was cool but there should’ve been a no-phone policy. Broadcasting a corpse on social media was not okay.”

An employee at the bar reportedly tweeted that staff and crew members were not informed about the event beforehand and were shocked when they arrived to see Goonew’s “deceased body on display.”

“They didn’t warn us they didn’t tell us they didn’t even know,” they added. “When I say I’ve officially been traumatized this year I mean it.”


The rapper’s family doesn’t regret throwing the funeral party

During an interview with Fox 5 DC, Goonew’s mother, Patrice Morrow, told the outlet that she was present during the funeral party. She didn’t want fans and close loved ones to be sad about her son’s tragic passing. The grieving mother doubled down on her decision to throw the memorial bash, telling the station that it was exactly how she and her family wanted to celebrate Goonew’s life and legacy.

“For all the negatives, people probably don’t even know nothing about us,” Morrow said. “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.”

Ariana Morrow, Goonew’s sister, echoed a similar sentiment.

“We’re not trying to clear anything up. 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.”


Bliss issued an apology following the backlash

Following the outpour of criticism, Bliss Nightclub released a statement apologizing for their participation.

“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.”

The statement continued:

“Bliss was never made aware of what would transpire. We sincerely apologize to all those who may be upset or offended. Please keep Goonew’s family and friends in your prayers at this difficult time.”


A rising Hip Hop star

Goonew, whose real name is Markelle Morrow, broke out onto the rap scene in 2017, becoming a hit amongst fans for his unique murmured rap cadence. The star was crowned as one of Complex’s Best New Artists in 2020 for his viral smash “Bricks,” a 2-minute long freestyle that the rapper tackles on top of Gucci Mane’s classic instrumental.

“Me and Sparkheem, my producer, made ‘Bricks’ in 25 minutes,” Goonew told Complex back in December. “It’s way easier when your producer knows you and the music that you like to sample. Gucci is one of my favorite rappers and I’ve always put together freestyles in my head to beats that he’s done, so making this was easy. It’s one of my favorite songs that I have put out,” he added.


Sadly, the rapper’s promising music career was cut short in March, after he was fatally shot during a robbery.

“He was shot in the back and he gave his jewels up,”  his mother told NBC 4, Wtop News noted.

“I feel like my son could have gone further in his life but he always worried about his neighborhood,” she added. “I miss him so much.”

Police are still searching for the suspects involved in the young rapper’s murder and are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for anyone with additional information on the case.


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