'Purple Rain' Star Morris Day Claims Prince Had A 'God Complex'

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Who Is Morris Day? New Details On 'Purple Rain' Star's Claims Prince Had A 'God Complex'

Even if his name doesn't ring a bell offhand, there can be no question that you've heard his song "Jungle Love." (In some cases, you might have danced to it in school without realizing what it was really talking about, so good on you.) But more than just a "one-hit wonder" (perish the thought) and a friend of Prince's — he's someone whose influence on music is still felt to this day. There's an argument that, without him, there would be no Prince. So who is Morris Day, and why should you know who he is?

Depending on you who ask, the greatest musician to come out of Minneapolis is either Prince or Morris Day & The Time. The two came into prominence around the same time, though Prince became exponentially more famous for a number of reasons. But while Prince is an icon, Morris Day is also a part of our current pop culture zeitgeist, even if you don't realize that he is. 

Let's take a look at all the ways Morris Day has made an impact on pop culture — and why his friendship with Prince is both influential and complicated. 

RELATED: The Heartbreaking Cause Of Prince's Death Revealed

1. His music was a part of professional wrestling. 

Back in the day, the WWE was known as the WWF — World Wrestling Federation — and their characters were, uh, a bit stereotypical. One such example was a jive-talking wannabe pimp called Koko B. Ware, and while his whole shtick alternated between hokey and (through 21st-century eyes) possibly racist, Morris Day & The Time allowed him to use their song, "The Bird," as his intro music. You can hear and see this below. 

2. Morris Day and Prince had a long-standing friendship. 

According to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Morris Day and Prince were long-standing friends. In fact, Day told the outlet that he was so close to The Purple One that, when Prince died in 2016, Morris Day refused to talk to the media. "I didn’t want to be one of the first responders, if you know what I mean, talking about it on all those TV outlets. Because it just didn’t feel right,” he said to the outlet. 

3. They met in middle school. 

Few people keep friends from middle school for the rest of their lives, but Morris Day and Prince aren't ordinary people. According to Twin Cities, when Morris Day and Prince met in middle school, they were both in the lunchroom, and Prince invited him to try out to be a drummer for a band called The Time. Later, the band would become Morris Day & The Time, he would move to the front of the mic, and things would never be the same again. 

RELATED: Apollonia Says Goodbye To Prince In One Last, Moving Love Letter

4. But Morris Day and Prince didn't always get along. 

As all friends do, Morris Day and Prince didn't always get along, and would sometimes fight. And according to The New York Post, in addition to once almost coming to blows with The Purple One, Morris Day said his longtime friend sometimes had a "Jesus complex." “After ‘Purple Rain,’ everyone’s career took off. [But] there was definitely stuff that made me think he had a Jesus or a God complex. I think if he had his way, he would have [had] a Paisley Park compound, with my house, Vanity’s house, and [percussionist] Sheila E.’s house, that he personally bought and that he could kick you out of if he wanted," he said. 

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5. He detailed their relationship in his new memoir. 

In his new book On Time: A Princely Life In Funk, Morris Day goes into great detail about his at-times-complicated, at-times-contentious relationship with the future King of Paisley Park. Much of the book, in fact, is presented as a "dialogue" between Prince and Morris Day, according to a different report for The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

6. Though his relationship with Prince was complicated, Morris Day said he wouldn't trade it for the world. 

"In the 1984 film Purple Rain, Morris Day, the lead singer of The Time, plays an over-the-top version of himself as Prince's arch-enemy. Off-screen, the relationship between Day and Prince was way more complicated. When Prince died in 2016, Day wasn't one of the people who appeared on TV to give interviews about him. He kept his stories to himself — until now. In his new memoir, On Time: A Princely Life in Funk, Day pays tribute to his late friend," reported CBC News

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.