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?!