Ice Cube has revealed how meetings with a university-aged John Singleton led to him starring in classic film Boyz n The Hood.
The former NWA rapper earned his first major film role with the 1991 drama, a gritty look at life for African Americans in South Central Los Angeles.
Singleton, who died in April aged 51, earned two Oscar nominations for Boyz n The Hood, his directorial debut.
Ice Cube revealed Singleton, a fan of his music, first approached him while he was still in film school.
Speaking on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he said: “He came up to me and said, ‘when I graduate I’m going to put you in a movie’.
“He ran up to me at a concert a year later and was like ‘remember me? I’m still going to put you in this movie’.
“My manager came a year later and said ‘someone wants to put you in a movie’. When I read the script, I was like ‘this is a hell of a movie, Boyz n The Hood’.”
Boyz N The Hood was based on Singleton’s upbringing and shot in his old neighbourhood.
It starred Cuba Gooding Jr as a rebellious teen whose single mother sends him to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles.
Singleton, 24 at the time, earned Oscar nominations for best original screenplay and best director.
For the latter he was the first African American and youngest person to be nominated.
Following his death in April, almost two weeks after suffering a stroke, figures from politics and the entertainment industry paid tribute.
Former US president Barack Obama said he “opened doors for filmmakers of color to tell powerful stories that have been too often ignored”.
Singleton’s other films included Poetic Justice, Shaft and 2 Fast 2 Furious.