Cardi B is one of the most talked about celebrities in the world right now and she deserves every bit of the fame. Her rise to the top has been one for the history books and now that things are (somewhat) settling down, she has time to reflect on her journey thus far.
For the latest issue of CR Fashion Book, Cardi B sits down with the lovely superstar Zendaya for a candid conversation about fame, dealing with success, her blackness, and most importantly, wanting to prove people wrong.
Here are some excerpts from their conversation. Read Cardi’s and Zendaya’s interview here, and be sure to grab this issue of CR Fashion Book when it hits the stands.
On growing up in the Bronx:
Zendaya: I’m from Oakland and that is a huge part of my character. How did growing up in the Bronx influence your music and personality?
Cardi B: It influenced the way I see things. In the Bronx, there’s different cultures, a lot of Caribbeans. I didn’t grow up having much, so I didn’t have much to brag about. All I knew was violence, gang relations, and how to hustle. That’s what I mostly rapped about. Now that I’m seeing different things, traveling places, and buying new things, I can rap about all that.
On how different life is since getting famous:
Zendaya: How has your life changed since you became famous?
Cardi B: Well, one positive thing is that, my family, whatever they want, they get. Everything that I want to buy, I can get. I don’t have to worry so much about my future. One negative thing is that, even though I’m happy, I feel like I was a little bit happier two or three years ago when I had less money. I had less people who had opinions about my life. I felt like my life was mine. Now I feel like I don’t even own my life. I feel like the world owns me. It’s crazy because I never been the type of person to ever really care about anything. I never had to censor myself. Now I feel like everybody is so sensitive, and it’s sad. Some people have written me off or tried to make me feel like I’m something I’m not or wanted to tell me how to manage my relationship.
On the joy of proving people wrong:
Zendaya: Okay last question: what gives you the greatest satisfaction?
Cardi B: I love proving people wrong. I know that’s bad, but it just gives me this crazy
satisfaction. People used to say I was only going to be a reality star—and boom! Or that my songs would never make it to radio—and then boom! I used to work in a very ratchet club named Divas in the Bronx. When I was 21, I was so in love with this guy. He used to tell me, “You’re going to be 40 years old still working at Divas.” It felt so good when he came back around and told me how proud he is. In my inner soul, I was just so happy, like, Yeah what’s good?!
On who inspires Zendaya:
Cardi B: Who inspires you?
Zendaya: Of course my parents and people like Michelle Obama, who I think are amazing. It’s the women in my life—my mom, my older sister, my grandmothers, and my little nieces, even they inspire me. Seeing them look up to me inspires me to be better. I’m with my sister every day, but I don’t think she even knows how much she inspires me.
On growing up in Oakland:
Zendaya: Absolutely, there is definitely “hood” in me and it will never leave. It’s part of who I am, as it is part of my family. Listen, I was born and raised in Oakland, all my family is from there—multiple generations of Colemans. And they’re not from the Oakland Hills, we are from the hoods of Oakland. It’s something that I’m proud of and I’m lucky to be where I’m from. My aunties held Black Panther party meetings in the downstairs basement of our house that I grew up in. You learn so much from those experiences and from those stories.
On Zendaya’s biggest fear in terms of fame:
Cardi B: Right. A lot of people think that just making money and having fame makes you happy and it really don’t. What is your biggest fear?
Zendaya: Sometimes, as a young person in this industry, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do the right thing. I think this is a flaw of mine. I get so afraid to make the wrong decisions, but I have to understand that I’m only 21 years old. I’m not going to always be perfect. You cannot let the fear of not being perfect stop you from doing anything at all. I still have a lot of things left to do in my career and it’s okay to frickin’ learn from a situation and grow from it.