Khia :: Thug Misses :: Dirty Down/Artemis Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Trina, Foxy Brown, and Lil' Kim all must be mad right now. While the three raunchy female rappers bide their time before putting out new albums for rap fans that love hearing women talk shit (particularly about sex) newcomer Khia has stolen their thunder with "My Neck, My Back." Many people are already familiar with the tamer version that gets constant rotation on radio stations coast to coast, but may be in for something of a shock once they hear the explicit lyrics of the album version from Khia's national debut CD "Thug Misses":

"First you gotta put yo' neck into it
Ah don't stop, just do it, do it
Then, you roll your tongue
From the, crack back to the front
Then ya, suck it all 'til I shake and cum nigga
Make sure I keep bustin nuts nigga
All over yo' face and stuff
Slow head show me so much love"

Khia's ode to cunnilingus may not be everyone's cup of tea, but to others it will be refreshing to hear a woman talk as frankly about getting oral as most male rappers do about getting head. Female rappers have been blazing this empowered sexuality trail for years, but Khia's hit single took it the next logical step forward from Lil' Kim's "How Many Licks" to a place where no double entendre was needed. Hopefully this means that Khia's doggie style pose on the album cover is more honest sexual expressiveness and not just a cheap come on to entice wary buyers.

Producer Taz and his affiliated Plat'num House handle the musical duties for Khia's entire album. They struck the right chord on "My Neck, My Back" with a catchy bassline and low-key synths that support the simple drum track matched to the raunchy raps; which rightly SHOULD be the focus on Khia's song. This formula is matched on possible future hits like "The K-Wang" (Khia's dance) and the up-tempo bounce sound of "Jealous Girls." Khia may have been born in Philly, but the latter song accurately reflects her Tampa, FL upbringing; Slip-N-Slide Records probably wishes they could have signed Khia and Taz before they blew up and offered them direct competition for the Southeast audience.

Unfortunately, Khia's production sometimes sounds TOO much like her contemporaries to keep interest in her album elevated. If "Remember Me" reminds you of a Gangsta Boo/Three 6 Mafia song, you'd probably rather throw in one of their albums instead. "I Know You Want It" reveals who Khia is most reminiscent of though - No Limit's long-since retired Mia X. Khia takes a stab at the "down fo' my man" song with "We Were Meant to Be," with her self-confident proclamations that "I'm the bitch that makes you moan, keep that body hot." Khia's probably right, but eventually hearing ode after ode to her sexual confidence starts to wear thin. This is not entirely Khia's fault given that she's a competent rapper, but Taz just can't do enough over sixteen tracks to maintain the high intensity when "My Neck, My Back" is the album's very first track.

In the end (no pun intended) Khia will definitely open eyes and turn heads with her debut album "Thug Misses" but doesn't have the music or the lyrics to carry forty-five plus minutes of rap on one album at this early point in her career. By combining her already confidant raps with some more divergent topics and an improved selection of beats, Khia may prove to have the staying power of her femme fatale contemporaries, but until then her debut album will have already taken up twelve of her fifteen minutes of fame. It's up to her to push the clock back and keep it ticking.

Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10

Originally posted: July 23, 2002