Rainbow Children is the first track on Prince's 24th album The Rainbow Children, his first album after reverting to the name Prince. In late 2001, it was also included as the third track on the She Loves Me 4 Me "Jazz Sampler" promo CD available only in the USA. The track was heavily played as the opening song on the One Nite Alone... Tour and in 2002 a live version from the tour was released as the first track on the One Nite Alone... Live! album (with no other tracks included from the same show).
Specific recording dates are unknown, but it is likely that basic tracking took place in late 2000 or early 2001 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The song contains a quotation from the track Sexuality, released 20 years earlier - "Reproduction of the New Breed, Leaders, stand up! Organize!"
The track opens with narrative in a distorted low voice by Prince that continues through many of the album's tracks. It introduces the story of the "Rainbow Children", who "go about the work of building a new nation" with "accurate understanding of God and his laws". "The Wise One" and his woman are tempted by "The Resistor" "as prophesied". The woman succumbed, and was banished from the land along with five others, who became "The Banished Ones" (this was long thought to be as being written about Prince's separation from his first wife Mayte, which she confirmed in her 2017 biography "The Most Beautiful"). The Wise One trusted in God to bring him another woman (read: Prince's soon-to-be second wife, Manuela Testolini). Although the term "Rainbow Children" is used during the narrative and some lyrics throughout the album, these uses are not considered a reference to this particular song, but instead to the same idea referred to in the lyric of this song - a group of people who have obtained some kind of spiritual enlightenment, "flying on the wings of the New Translation" (likely referring to the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by Jehovah's Witnesses, the religious group Prince belonged to at the time of recording).