On Thursday (Feb. 16), Junie Morrison, the founder of funk band the Ohio Players and member of Parliament-Funkadelic, passed away at 62. Morrison’s impact on music and black culture is etched in the memories of many, playing a major role in the Parliament-Funkadelic’s final essential records (“One Nation Under a Groove,” “(Not Just) Knee Deep”). He was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Parliament-Funkadelic in 1997.
With the news of his death, many musicians and fans payed their respect to legend, one of which was Solange, whose critically acclaimed A Seat At The Table album included a song entitled “Junie.” The multi-hypentate took to her website Saint Heron to pen a heartfelt note to Morrison, sharing that his song “Super Spirit” inspired her to write “Junie” as a last-minute addition to her latest body of work.
Rest in Funk #JunieMorrison . Your unprecedented contributions to music will be revered so deeply forever more. “Super Spirit” found me when I needed it the most, and I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me, and so many….in so many ways. I’ll never forget sending “Junie” to you (thank you so much @djsoulsister for connecting us) and being so nervous how a magic man like yourself would respond to a song trying to capture your untouchable essence. You couldn’t tell me nothing that week, because Junie Morrison dug it, and that was the ultimate honor in honoring you. You were always so kind and groovy and I know your funk’n up the universe from the skies.
A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on Feb 17, 2017 at 7:06am PST
“I remember the first time I heard Junie Morrison‘s “Super Spirit“…Q-Tip played it for me one night in his studio in Jersey,” she began her post with. “No song had ever made me feel quite like it. It tapped into places and spiritual frequencies that I couldn’t even put into words. I listened to it on loop for an hour, each listen hitting me deeper and deeper.” After an appetizer taste, she immediately dove deep into his discography, sampling everything there was to know about him and his music.
“I had just finished my album and started mixing when one day I walked into the studio and heard Raphael [Saadiq] playing this drum and bass loop,” she continued. “He was playing it for a friend, but I begged to take it home and write to it. I started sketching out “Junie” with Junie Morrison heavy on my mind that very night…I wrote the song to honor the brilliant Junie Morrison and the impact his work and story had on me, while wanting to challenge my own relationship with “sharing your magic.””
I wrote about the incredible impact that Junie’s work had on me, and how the brilliant musician and man inspired me to write “Junie” , when I thought my album was long done. You can read the story on @saintheron (link in the bio) Rest in funk #JunieMorrison
A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on Feb 17, 2017 at 7:26am PST
“The more I learned about Junie, the more I learned how much of his gift he shared through his musical contributions to others; how we have all in some way or another been touched by his contributions to funk music, and about his wealth of inspiration to other musicians,” she gushed.
“He had it in his hands. He was very appreciated. He was the “Super Spirit” indeed…I spoke with him from time to time and he was always incredibly kind, humble, and shared gems of advice and little mantra’s with me along the way. He always ended them with “ever fonking on,” which I know he’s doing right this moment.”