What If is a cover version of the track by Nichole Nordeman, which first appeared on her 2005 album Brave. The track was written by Nichole Nordeman.
The version by Prince and 3rdEyeGirl was available as a free download, emailed by Live Nation to ticket holders for four Prince and 3rdEyeGirl concerts scheduled in Louisville, KY, USA (on 14 March 2015 and 15 March 2015) on the night of the first show (along with The X's Face). It had been premiered two days before on Louisville, KY, USA radio station 91.9 WFPK Radio Louisville.
While specific recording dates are not known, it is assumed to have been recorded in January 2013, at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota; the track was first mentioned as being rehearsed by the band in a late January 2013, Billboard interview.The title appears crossed out on an undated tracklist as twelfth and last track of a possible configuration of the Plectrumelectrum album.
Michael B. Nelson said he worked on a full orchestrated version after the song was already 'released' without it.