LA Originals review – Netflix documents Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol

April 10, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Reviews


Netflix documentary LA Originals gives insight into two behind-the-scenes hip hop legends — Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol — who changed the shape of street culture.



Netflix documentary LA Originals gives insight into two behind-the-scenes hip hop legends — Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol — who changed the shape of street culture.

Netflix documentary LA Originals will be released on the platform on April 10, 2020 — add it to your list now.

What’s attractive about the concept of a documentary like LA Originals is its appeal to hip hop fans. I often forget what hip hop meant for me when I was growing up; holed up in my bedroom, gaming for hours and putting Snoop Dogg’s Tha Blue Carpet Treatment on repeat while I attempt to get my next kill spree on Unreal Championship on Christmas Day morning. Or the time I was on holiday with my family, excited to attend the Anger Management tour only for it to be canceled due to Eminem claiming exhaustion — I was excited because it felt so damn important to me.

And I think that’s why hip hop is so important; it resonates with people in different ways, surfacing memories. And while the genre continues to transform differently, inspiring upcoming generations, it is important to look at its history at various timelines. So I was excited when I saw the trailer for LA Originals because it’s a chance to see another perspective, another insight in this diverse world of hip hop.

Being involved in the genre does not just involve being able to rap or produce; in the case of Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol, they had an impact on the genre in a different way. They made an incision into the industry by photography and art. LA Originals shows insightful archival footage of Cypress Hill concerts that would not have been possible if Estevan Oriol was not in attendance; there was no-one else there to document it in the way he did. And you may have been impressed by the body art inked on some hip hop artists; if you have, it’s likely that they paid a visit to Mister Cartoon.

LA Originals exemplifies that the genre of hip hop was and is an open sphere of opportunities; it’s not just a place of music, you can place your own stamp on it in your own unique way. Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol’s embedded into hip hop groups and tours, presenting their work in raw forms was their route to success; the Netflix documentary shows how they went from party-goers with the hip hop elite to opening a successful business on the streets. The pair embodied gritty art, street culture, and hip hop.

LA Originals also demonstrates how hip hop has changed culturally, and like previous documentaries, highlights the US government’s wrongful perception of what the culture meant. While Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol became behind-the-scenes hip hop legends, the culture echoed into many forms, unknowingly creating a piece of history that we admire, and look up to today.

With an impressive flurry of interviews from journalists, experts and hip hop artists, Netflix’s LA Originals shows true appreciation for two legends that many will never have heard of, but if you are a true fan of hip hop, you should learn about them. This is your chance.

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