In 1991, Finesse split from his former partner DJ Mike Smooth and his former record label, Wild Pitch Records to release his first solo effort. Return of the Funky Man, which featured production from Finesse's partners Diamond D & Showbiz, and former Ice-T producers DJ Aladdin & SLJ. Finesse also produced his first beats on this album and would go on to become one of hip-hop's legendary producers. Finesse was signed to this Warner Bros. Records subsidiary because of Ice-T, who enjoyed a very positive relationship with the label, even through the controversy surrounding "Cop Killer", the notorious song by his heavy metal band Body Count. This album was the first cover shot by Danny Clinch.