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Khia has been a commanding presence in hip-hop since 2002, the year she broke through with "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)." Nearly a Top 40 pop hit -- despite lyrical matter so clear that its censored version left little to the imagination -- "My Neck, My Back" launched the career of an unflinching Tampa-based rapper and producer who has continued to make melodic and booming strip club anthems across full-length projects ranging from Thug Misses (2002) to Twerkanomics (2018). Originally from Philadelphia, Khia moved to Tampa during her childhood. She sang in church, learned to tap dance, and performed at talent shows. In her late teens, she started writing rhymes for friends, but it wasn't until her early twenties that she took up rapping. Her job as a bartender gave her a sense of what music worked on dancefloors and enabled her to network with DJs. Working with producers Donn Juan and Michael "Taz" Williams, Khia recorded the album Thug Misses and independently released it in 2001. The track "Lick My Neck, My Back" took off in the Tampa Bay region, leading to a 2002 re-release of Thug Misses distributed nationwide by the Artemis label. "Lick My Neck, My Back," retitled "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)," reached number 20 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart, and became a crossover success, scaling the Hot 100 to number 42. The single fared even better abroad, especially in the U.K., where it reached number four on the pop chart. Thug Misses would eventually earn gold certifications in the U.S. and U.K. Although "My Neck, My Back" remains Khia's commercial apex, it provided the rapper with a strong foundation for longevity. Having found her stylistic lane, Khia kept her foot on the accelerator, even after her 2003 follow-up was shelved. Over the next few years, she was featured on tracks by fellow Floridian Trick Daddy and Janet Jackson, respectively "J.O.D.D." and the Top 20 R&B/hip-hop hit "So Excited." Gangstress and Nasti Muzik, her second and third albums, both charted upon their arrivals in 2006 and 2008. Khia first got involved with reality television during the latter year when she competed on Ego Trip's Miss Rap Supreme. Gangstress and Nasti Muzik had been released by different independents. Khia has since recorded strictly for her own label, Thug Misses. Inaugural Thug Misses release MotorMouf aka Khia Shamone appeared in 2012 and featured some R&B-oriented material that showcased Khia's singing voice. Love Locs followed in 2014 with "My Neck, My Back" receiving a boogie woogie makeover. QueenDomCum, Khia's sixth album, was released two years later with the bounding "YumYum Sauce" among its highlights. The party continued on 2018's Twerkanomics, a set of primarily uptempo tracks that included a clean update of "Santa Baby" between the likes of "Kash Only" and "Ass Talk." In 2022, Khia celebrated the 20th anniversary of Thug Misses with a new version of her debut.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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