Born 2 Die is the third track of the tenth posthumous album Welcome 2 America (the first full previously-unreleased studio album of Prince material). The song was premiered on BBC Radio 6 and Prince’s official Youtube channel maintened by his Estate on 3 June, 2021 and made available for download as a preview of the album at the same time, eight weeks prior to the album.
The track was recorded in sessions that also yielded other material for the album Welcome 2 America. Initial tracking took place on 12 March 2010 (on the same day as When She Comes and Running Game (Son Of A Slave Master), and three days before Welcome 2 America, Yes, and Dance 2 The Higher), at Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA. The song was worked on further in the spring with Shelby J., Elisa Dease and Liv Warfield and additional production by Morris Hayes.
According to the details provided to accompany the stream on Youtube, the song was recorded "when President Obama was just a year into his first term and Prince was reflecting deeply on the issues affecting the Black community and the role he hoped to play." Prince explained the genesis of the song to Morris Hayes when he asked him to do some additional production on the track:
"We got to Born 2 Die, and Prince said, 'I’ll tell you how that came about,'. He had been watching videos of his friend Dr. Cornel West on YouTube, and during one speech Dr. West said, 'I love my brother Prince, but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.' So Prince said, "Oh really? We will see." "