Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Lance Rivera began his music career when he met a neighborhood drug dealer turned rapper named Christopher Wallace, who rhymed under the moniker Notorious B.I.G. After hearing him perform, Rivera offered to finance his musical career. It was Lance's introduction to the music industry. In 1994, when Undeas Recordings was created in partnership with Atlantic Records, Lance was put in charge of the artist roster, which included Notorious B.I.G.'s protégés Lil Kim and Junior Mafia.
With no formal background or training, Lance made his music video directorial debut with Notorious B.I.G.'s breakout video "Juicy," alongside B.I.G.'s mentor, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Lance went on to direct videos for Junior Mafia's "Player's Anthem," Lil Kim's "Crush on You," the late Aaliyah's "Hot Like Fire," and "Ladies Night," featuring Lil Kim, the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Missy Elliott and Angie Martinez.
Rivera eventually turned his eye to Hollywood. He teamed up with Queen Latifah and her partner, Shakim Compere, to establish Crossover Media, a marketing advertising company. He then went on to make his feature film directorial debut with The Cookout (2004), starring Queen Latifah.