Northside was initially released as part of the NPG Music Club Edition # 3 as an mp3 download, credited to the New Power Generation. In 2004, it was included as the seventh track on the compilation album The Slaughterhouse, with no specific artist credit. It may initially have been intended for the New Power Generation’s album Peace, announced in March 2000, but this project may have been abandoned by the time the song was recorded.
While exact recording dates are not known, Northside is believed to have been recorded in Spring-Summer 2000. The song was played live for the first time on 8 July 2000 (a.m.) at Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA. The track features Najee on horns and Kip Blackshire on background vocals, but other musical personnel are not known.