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Maxwell began working with songwriter Leon Ware and noted guitarist Wah Wah Watson to record his debut Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite in the early 1990s. Til the Cops Come Knockin'", debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks at number 87 in May 1996.
Recording sessions for the album took place in 19 at Electric Lady Studios, RPM Studios, Sorcerer Studios and Chung King Studios in New York City, and at CRC Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Peaking at number 79, the single spent 12 weeks on the chart.
In commenting on the "new soul revival" in music, Maxwell told Entertainment Weekly in 1997 that "everything out there musically was inspired or influenced by something from the past.
It's not about creating some super-fresh new thing.
After two years of occasionally performing and planning, he disclosed during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in May 2014 that he had been working on his fifth studio album for "the past three years" and has been recording in Miami.Kelly and featured on the soundtrack for the 1999 film Life.The single peaked at number one on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart.(Maxwell contributed the song "Segurança (Security)" to the AIDS-benefit album Red Hot Rio, produced by the Red Hot Organization.) Despite only having released only one album, the music video television channel MTV saw his burgeoning popularity and asked him to tape an episode of the concert series MTV Unplugged in New York City.The show was taped live on June 15, 1997, and he performed his own songs as well as covers of songs by Kate Bush ("This Woman's Work") and Nine Inch Nails ("Closer").