Stare is the fifth track on Prince’s 39th album Hitnrun Phase Two.
Eight months earlier, three snippets of the track were posted as teaser videos on the 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account. The videos all stated "Buy Now!" and included an iTunes URL, but the link pointed towards the single Baltimore, which went on sale less than 12 hours earlier. The three snippets were removed from the YouTube account around 18 June 2015. All three teaser videos consisted of a excerpt of the song, over text and images stating "new funk" by Prince would be coming in Summer 2015. An image contained in the video may be a cover for an album titled Free Urself, but there has been no confirmation of an album by that name, and when Stare was available in full on Spotify, a different album, Hitnrun Phase One, had been announced.
Two months after the video snippets, the full track was made available on streaming music service Spotify (a few weeks after Prince removed all his other music from the service in a protest about the low royalties paid to artists through the service).
In conjunction with Prince’s increased presence on Tidal in September 2015 to coincide with the exclusive stream of Hitnrun Phase One, Stare was included as the first Purple Pick of the Week for "new tracks, exclusives, rarities and more from the vault", despite its prior availability.
Nine days before the surprise release of Hitnrun Phase Two, Tidal opened a download store which included Stare among many other previously-streamed tracks by Prince (including Stones (by The Golden Hippie), Pretzelbodylogic Reloaded and If Eye Could Get Ur Attention along with the updated version of the album The Chocolate Invasion).
While specific recording dates are not known, it is assumed to have been recorded in early 2015 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The horns present on the full version were not included on the snippets made available in late May, so it is assumed that they were recorded in June or July 2015.
The track contains a sample from Prince and the Revolution’s 1986 hit Kiss and an interpolation of Prince’s 1979 song Sexy Dancer.