Many naysayers (Trina, Jacki-O, Ms. Cherry, etc.) may question Khia’s declaration of being the outright “Queen of the South,” but no one can doubt her ability to make the general public raise its collective eyebrow. The Tampa, FL representative’s tutorial on proper cunninglingus, “My Neck, My Back,” topped the charts in 2002 and made C. Delores Tucker loyalists shake their heads in revolt.
In short, Khia is a provocateur. A cadre of sensual lyrics coupled with charismatic delivery that make for an infectious blend that you just love to hate and hate to love. Aside from the attention her suggestive content receives, Khia is one of the industry’s more successful independent artists and has been able to turn notoriety into credibility. On the heels of her new single, “Been A Bad Girl,” Khia took time off her hectic and nationally-televised press tour for some real talk with XXLMag.com on cattiness between female MCs, why she loves Cee-Lo Green and her upcoming album, Motor Mouf aka Khia Shamone.
XXLMag.com: The last image most people have of you is getting excused from Ego Trip’s Miss Rap Supreme. Are you happy to be back in the limelight?
Khia: This is business. My upcoming album will show my growth while still embracing who I am.
XXLMag.com: You were recently on ABC News Now promoting your album. What was that experience like?
Khia: It was wonderful. I was excited to have the opportunity to discuss my project and to wear a pair of designer Mercura Sunglasses.
XXLMag.com: Besides “Been A Bad Girl” are there any other tracks your fans should be on the look out for?
Khia: Yes, the second single, “So Addicted.” The complete album will be out in the coming months.
XXLMag.com: You’ve been independent for quite a while now, do you have any advice for any artists who are trying to break from major labels on to the independent scene?
Khia: I definitely promote entrepreneurship. Go for it. Work hard for yourself and it pays off. With all of the Internet and everything that you can utilize as far as [technology] and being direct with your fans and your fans buying direct, I definitely think that this is the time and the age for you to look into that and be in control of your situation and making things happen for yourself, and reaping the harvest when it pays off.
XXLMag.com: Throughout your career, you’ve had some detractors along the way, like Trina and Jacki-O. Assuming what Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj are going through right now, how would you handle that situation compared to your own?
Khia: Ummm, keep it movin’. I try to just really focus on myself and my music, and I would tell them to do the same.
XXLMag.com: Have there been any inspirations in your past that have pushed you to write deeper than you’ve ever written before?
Khia: No. I mean, I’ve been inspired by life and different things that I surround myself with. A lot of the older artists—I’m a big fan of Teena Marie, and Tina Turner, and of course 2Pac. A lot of the older artists that are out that I do listen to, I get inspired by listening to a lot of their things and the older music. Not a lot of the new stuff inspires me at all. It just doesn’t. Other than that, just real life situations. But I do, all of my music. I write and produce so it’s coming from me, so I guess experiences that I go through I put it into my music.
XXLMag.com: Is there anybody in the industry right now that you would like to collaborate with, be it an old artist or an up-and-coming artist?
Khia: Hmm, I would say Pink. I’m a huge Pink fan. I think that’s the only person I really would want to work with besides Teena Marie. Plus, Lil Wayne, I love him. Oh, of course Cee-Lo Green… I guess those would be my dream collaborations.
XXLMag.com: Any particular reason why you like Cee-Lo?
Khia: I think he’s just the best, I think he’s the greatest. He’s like so underrated to me. Everybody else gets so much promotion; I think he needs all of it. Because he’s just the best and I don’t see enough of him. I don’t see enough of him on the radio, I don’t see enough of him on the videos. He’s such a constant poet, rapper, and artist, just an all-round entertainer. I guess I’d like to see more of people that have fun.
XXLMag.com: What would you consider a great year for Khia right now? What would be the apex of this year if you could make it happen?
Khia: I guess me going on my international tour. I’m so excited about that. I like to travel the world and perform internationally. And to be able to perform in front of my fans and do what I love and just be [me]. —Laurence Bass