Slave, previously titled Slowly Candle Burns and Candle Burns, is the first track on the third disc of Prince’s 19th album Emancipation, the third album to be credited to , and, eleven months before the album’s release, Slave was given out as a cassette single at a Paisley Park Studios show on 9 December 1995 (the same show where the Crystal Ball version of Days Of Wild was recorded and the studio version of One Of Us was premiered).
Basic tracking dates are unknown, but it is likely that the track was recorded in mid-1995 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. It was included as the third track on a July 1995, configuration of Emancipation, and as the fourth track on another 1995 configuration. The released version contains a drum pattern during the chorus that is sampled directly from Ain’t No Place Like U, which was not included on an earlier, unreleased version of the song. The song contains some lyrical and musical similarities to Slave 2 The System, but the two are otherwise different songs. The song was also featured (as Candle Burns) as the third track on the 1995 New World album project, a precursor to what became the album Emancipation.