The “limited” series’ first season, which premiered in February, was a near-universal triumph. It registered not only with hip-hop fans who prize Staples for his bone-dry humor and stark worldbuilding but also with critics, who called it “visually arresting,” “joyously weird,” and “unpredictably haywire, in the best possible way.” 

Much of that praise was owed to a vivid sense of place and storytelling, clear products of Staples’ childhood hometown of Long Beach, California. But there was also acclaim for the show’s look and feel (or “distinctive cinematography,” as the New York Times put it), elements that, as it turns out, had roots tracing all the way back to North Carolina — courtesy of Ayinde Anderson, the 29-year-old, Raleigh-raised cinematographer who shot three of its five episodes.

The “limited” series’ first season, which premiered in February, was a near-universal triumph. It registered not only with hip-hop fans who prize Staples for his bone-dry humor and stark worldbuilding but also with critics, who called it “visually arresting,” “joyously weird,” and “unpredictably haywire, in the best possible way.” 

Much of that praise was owed to a vivid sense of place and storytelling, clear products of Staples’ childhood hometown of Long Beach, California. But there was also acclaim for the show’s look and feel (or “distinctive cinematography,” as the New York Times put it), elements that, as it turns out, had roots tracing all the way back to North Carolina — courtesy of Ayinde Anderson, the 29-year-old, Raleigh-raised cinematographer who shot three of its five episodes.

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