The Good Life is the ninth track (fourth song) on the New Power Generation’s second 'solo' album Exodus, and, two and a half months after the album’s release, The Good Life was released as the album’s second single in the UK and Europe, with a North American release following two months later as the first and only North American single (Exodus was not released in North America).
The single contained various remixes - the Big City Remix contains an entirely new rap delivered by Prince (uncredited), which was played live on a few occasions - the remix is significantly different from the original and uses a horn sample from the song "Bebop Ta Hip Hop" by Headshock (also sampled for Mad), a repeated sample of "bought a house next to Prince", taken from What Can I Do? (Remix) by Ice Cube (later used on Mr. Happy and Love 4 1another), "Microphone check", taken from When I Get To Heaven (Remix) by Ice Cube (also used on Mr. Happy) and vocal samples from "No Hook" by Shaquille O’Neal featuring RZA & Method Man among other sounds. This version was also placed as the sixth track on a configuration of the New Power Generation’s third album Newpower Soul, but was removed prior to release. Due to its late removal, "The Good Life" is mentioned in the rap portion of the track Newpower Soul (which namechecks all the credited tracks on the album), and the numbering of tracks on the back cover of the first pressing of the album states erroneously that track 6, Push It Up, is track 7.
The same Big City Remix was also placed on a Playtime By Versace project in mid-late 1995.
The Bullets Go Bang Remix contains repeated vocal samples of "the bullets go bang" from Ninety-9’s track Three Shots (containing input by Prince). The repeated drum pattern heard throughout this remix was also used for Right Back Here In My Arms, recorded around the same time (and also contains a sample from Three Shots).
While specific recording dates are not known, basic tracking took place in December 1994 - January 1995 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (during the same set of sessions as Big Fun, Return Of The Bump Squad and Cherry, Cherry).