Christina Aguilera knows a thing or two about being delightfully unique. She also has no problem commending fellow creatives for sharing the same spirit.

On Monday (Mar. 26) the pop star opened up to Paper Magazine for their Transformation issue on an array of career highs, lows and the musicians that keep her inspired in 2018. Aguilera shared a liking to fellow NY native Cardi B and her genuine aura in her music and fan approach. “She makes people really crack up just by being herself, and it’s genuine,” she said while calling Childish Gambino a genius.

Throughout her musical journey, Aguilera has always had a close connection to hip-hop. Her role in the Grammy-winning cover of “Lady Marmalade” allowed her to work with Lil Kim a handful of times (“Can’t Hold Us Down“) as well as Redman, Alicia Keys and Scott Storch collaborating on her most adored album, Stripped.

She would later go on work with artists like Nelly, Diddy, DJ Premier, 50 Cent and Nicki Minaj.

She tells Paper when it comes to sound and visuals, hip-hop is leading the way, especially figures like Chance The Rapper. “He’s made it without a label, without any strings attached, and being so charismatic at the same time,” she said.

The Chicago native made music history with the release of his free albums Surf (under the moniker, Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment) and Coloring Book. He became the first artist with a streaming-only LP to receive a nomination for, and win, a Grammy (Best Rap Album). He also took home the Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance Grammys for “No Problem” with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz in the 2016 ceremony.

The “Beautiful” singer also talked about her “37-year journey” to becoming comfortable in her own skin, why she goes so hard for the LGBTQ community and breaking new boundaries.