Won many collegiate honors in writing, including the Jack Nicholson Screen Writing Award.
Made his directorial debut in the 1991 hit film Boyz N the Hood, for which he received two Oscar nominations. His nomination for Best Director was historical, becoming the first African-American nominated in the category.
Took home the Best New Director award from the New York Film Critics Circle in 1991.
Ventured into the music genre and directed Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time" video in 1992.