For 10 years, studied acting under Betty Bridges, mother of Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges.
When she was 13 years old, she had a small role in a play called 227. A year later, she was cast in the role of Brenda Jenkins in the NBC sitcom version of the play.
In 1991, made film debut in the critically acclaimed Boyz n the Hood. This also marked the beginning of her work with director John Singleton. She would go on to appear in his films Poetic Justice (1993) and Higher Learning (1995).