Before rising to fame for his role as Todd on the comedy series Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse, James starred in a science fiction web series titled Osiris. His other television credits include episodes of Teen Wolf, One Tree Hill, and Meet the Browns.
Before beginning his acting career, he served as a United States Marine.
He played the role of Prentiss in the 2013 horror film The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia.
He spent his childhood in the care of his grandparents.
He appeared with Marisa Tomei, Billy Crystal, and Bette Midler in the 2012 movie Parental Guidance.