By DAN MACINTOSH
ANAHEIM, CA — The first Real Street Festival, presented by radio station Real 92.3, didn’t ‘really’ take place out on the streets. In fact, its two stages butted up against a real freeway, the 57, in the middle of really suburban Orange County. The ‘realness’ of this first-time festival may be debatable, but its presentation of contemporary hip-hop — for authenticity — cannot be debated. This was, indeed, a worthy overview of today’s rap music.
A$AP Rocky made his first concert appearance since being released from custody in Sweden for assault charges, with a little help from Tyler the Creator, and didn’t disappoint. He was surprisingly humble (most rappers never stop bragging) and thankful for his chance to get back on stage. Cardi B, the biggest female rapper on the planet (and possibly the biggest overall star in the genre) created the most excitement, though. Dressed up like the Fourth of July in a white jumpsuit emblazoned with red and blue stars and joined by a large group of dancers dressed similarly. Cardi B sang a lot about money and bitches, and included a few hits, including “Taki Taki” and “I Like It.” Being that this was a radio station festival, Cardi B’s performance clocked in at less than an hour. But even in that short time, she gave the audience all the thrills it craved.