Born on the west side of Chicago in September 1975, Tate was the youngest of three siblings whose family moved to California when he was nine years old. Convinced by their parents to enter a drama program at the Inner City Cultural Center, the trio didn't take the lessons seriously until classmate Malcolm-Jamal Warner's ascent to fame after being cast on the hugely popular sitcom The Cosby Show.

Subsequently realizing that they could parlay their efforts into a tangible form of success, the siblings began to receive small roles and in 1985 Tate made his small-screen debut in an episode of The Twilight Zone -- The Series. Following appearances in such popular television series as 21 Jump Street and The Wonder Years, Tate was cast in the made-for-television feature The Women of Brewster Place before receiving a recurring role in the popular family comedy series Family Matters (both 1989).

Offers soon began pouring in and, following numerous small-screen roles, collaborative filmmaking siblings Albert and Allen Hughes approached Tate to star in their debut feature Menace II Society. A jarring vision of inner-city desperation and decay, the film found Tate channeling his substantial energy into creating a truly memorable character that audiences would not soon forget.

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