This is a Youtube embed, the blog post is by John Hoff
Since I wrote about "the world's worst fallen thug 'tribute' video in a previous blog post, in seemed only fair to find better produced tribute videos to this same Keontrell Goven, particularly since these videos are revealing and highly informative. Also, Part Two of the "world's worst" tribute was something amazingly raw and real, and I want to share it...
The video above is by CeceBadaszBurr and documents in considerable detail what appears to be a romantic relationship with Keontrell Govan. It shows amazingly skilled production. Note how flashes of red could allude to "romance" but, simultaneously, seem to be an artistic commentary on Govan's sudden, terrible death.
This video, embeded above, is by Alexis56ify. It appears to be a loving, romantic tribute and yet it doesn't reveal the same "depth of relationship" as the one by CeceBadaszBurr.
If you already saw Part One, this is Part Two. It goes on for ELEVEN MINUTES. The young woman in the video states she lived across the street from Govan and he was "like a big brother" to her. Here are some interesting facts and/or assertions in the video.
First, she says Keontrell "pleaded for his life." She alludes to other people she knew or "had been cool with" for a while dying, including her cousin who was just "in the wrong place at the wrong time." She says people Govan was "supposed to be cool with, a lot of them was fake."
She comments "he tatted up like a bitch" (whatever that means) and "I was was, like, bro. We need to go and get a tattoo together." She says "we had it all scheduled" and it was supposed to take place on her birthday, the day she would turn 17, a few months forward of when this video was shot.
Incredibly, an older woman who seems to be the young woman's mother comes into the house, and can be heard in the background. There's a conversation where the young woman says, "I don't want you in here." There is a lot of brooding silence. At one point the mother says, "If you don't have nothing important to say I don't know why you're making a video."
These moments are entirely too raw, too real, too unscripted. And it's just OUT THERE LIKE THAT, accessible to the whole world.
In the belief this video may get taken down at some point, I am going to capture its essential utterances, as follows.
Though some of the communication is unclear, the young woman making the video appears to state that Keontrell was homeless at one point and was taken in by a woman. It's not clear to me if that means the young woman's own mother or somebody living across the street. In any case, Keontrell was reportedly homeless.
"All these kids are losing their lives over nothing," she comments, and truer words are seldom spoken.
First, she says, it was "my cousin Charez," by which she appears to mean Charez Jones. Then, she says, it was "This girl I know as Shya." (Spelling unknown) Then, "a week later, it was my big homie Alisha Kneely." Then it was "this dude where I had a thing with, my guy, whatever you want to say" and the name was...sounds like? Kwezikal?
And then it was "Tank" who was the next to fall. The young woman says a name which sounds exactly like "Dwayne Donte Wright, Junior," clearly enunciated, and yet I've been unable to link this name to anybody killed on the Northside. I must be missing something, here.
After Tank, she says, it was "Phat Phat," who is Anthony Titus.
Now, she says, it is Keontrell.
And so you have it, the roll call of the dead, leading her to the present moment. Of course, there would be more dead after THAT.
All these people, she said, were "North Minneapolis" and all knew each other.
Is there any GOOD coming out of this, she asks? She says, hopefully, "They get to be with God, early." They will be "little beautiful angels" she says, with a faintly hopeful tone.
"I'm just so pissed off," she says, and she begins to weep. Whenever she had a problem, she said, she could call on Keontrell and he would be there. She feels bad for Keontrell's girlfriend, though there had been past differences, she feels BAD for her.
When Keontrell died, she was at the hospital where he was, praying up a storm. Please, she prayed, don't let him go. And God let him go. She guesses it was his time.
She holds up "one of his old phones that he let me have," trying to display a picture of Keontrell from the phone. Oops, it's not Keontrell. It's ANOTHER dead person. Oops.
His death, she said, is a "big wake up call" and she's, "just, like, damn."
It is, she says, really f***** up right now but, of course, "we've got to hold it down for him." What this means, precisely, I am not sure but I think a lack of preciseness may be part of the point of these urban expressions, are you feeling me?
We smoked together, she says. We did some illegal doobs, together, she says, BUT THAT DOES NOT DEFINE HIM. And, since his death, she has not been to school. She has not been OUTSIDE except to go and identify the body. She has just been "in the f****** dark ass house." She is, she says, praying and hoping "nobody brings that negative s*** to his funeral."
"No f****** fight, no f****** guns," she hopes aloud. Because, she says, that has happened in the past. Guns at a funeral.
She makes a throwaway remark about the music she's listening to, and then "that's all, bye Youtube."
She makes a follow up video telling Keontrell, "You can rest in peace" because the murderer had been arrested. The whole video is addressed to Keontrell, it appears, and covers some interpersonal territory in a vague way. Contains little content about his death.
In the tribute video above, the creator of the video pledges that everything, every "dolla" is for for Keontrell, referred to as KeeStar. There are a lot of pictures of Keontrell in the video, including, incredibly, photos of somebody grasping his tatted up arm in a funeral casket. (This is visible at 5:06) Small children are shown at 5:19 making gang signs.
Ah, the NEXT next generation.
This is not ALL the tribute videos to Keontrell Govan. There are more. With every killing on the streets of North Minneapolis, these online tribute videos pop up. The balloons, the flowers, the teddy bears pop up affixed to trees near the random spot where death occurred. The "RIP" shirts appear on the chests of young men who may soon be resting in peace, themselves.
Are these violent deaths not being ROMANTICIZED in this manner?
And is this romanticization of violent death not feeding into the cycle of urban violence?