Pope is the 17th track (second of two new tracks) on Prince's compilation album The Hits 2 (which is also included as the second disc of The Hits / The B-Sides), and, six months after the album's release, Pope was available as a promo 12" only in the UK (containing a remix of Pope and another of Pink Cashmere). In 1994, it was included as the fourth and final track on the UK and European CD single release of Letitgo, the first single from Prince's 15th album Come.
Although specific recording dates are not known, basic tracks were recorded in mid to late May 1993 at Paisley Park Studios, during the same set of sessions that produced Space, Strays Of The World, What's My Name, Interactive, Solo, Zannalee, and an updated recording of Race. The song contains various sampled phrases by comedian Bernie Mac (who was often referred to at the time as "the Pope") from the 1992 TV show Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam (later used in live versions of Get Wild and Peep The Technique). The track was included in the August 1993 Glam Slam Ulysses stage-show as the final song during the segment titled "The Celebration" (credited, as was the whole project, to ), shortly before appearing on The Hits 2. A remix of the track (perhaps the 12" Remix) was premiered at a party at Glam Slam, Minneapolis, MN, USA on 16 March 1994 (along with studio versions of Hate U, Billy Jack Bitch, Now and Days Of Wild, hours after recording Letitgo).
A track with a similar title, The Mad Pope, was recorded in late June 1993. It is possible that this was simply a remix or reworking of Pope, but for the sake of clarity, the track receives its own entry here unless further information becomes known.