Calling from her Florida hotel room on Tuesday, Khia Chambers is far from the corpse she's been rumored to be.
"I'm vacationing with shorties, and I'm trying to do this [interview] and [watch my kids] too," explained Khia (pronounced Ky-yah) after she paused to chastise her two playfully mischievous children.
At a time when her hit single, "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)," and her debut LP, Thug Misses, should be causing the biggest buzz around the Philadelphia-born Tampa resident, people have been wondering if the chatter that she was murdered by an angry boyfriend was real.
"I was on Dirty Down Records, and you know how you leave one record company to go to another one and they hate and try to bash you? That's all," Khia said. "They're the ones that's been spreading the rumors." (Representatives from Dirty Down Records could not be reached for comment.)
"People, they got a habit of spreading stuff," she continued. "It's like the radio stations here, instead of confirming it, they get on the air and blast it and then try to confirm it later. It don't matter. Controversy sells. I'm alive and well."
The mantra "sex sells" has also been followed religiously by marketing execs for many moons, though the 25-year-old said the message has only recently been embedded in her brain. People have been listening to her sexual demands on "My Neck, My Back" for months, and much to her astonishment they're loving it.
"I guess the world is just nasty and freaky like that," she said. "It's not even my favorite song, and I was kind of surprised that's the song that everybody jumped on. ... That song is just nothing compared to my other music. It's like, 'That's what the world is about today,' so hey, it works for me.
"It just spread," Khia continued, addressing the song's recent appeal. "It took its time to work its way up. I've been riding this out in the South. Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas City, St. Louis, it's been out for like a year. It's just really getting to [the rest of the country]."
Before Khia was getting her thug on in the studio, she was grinding as a bartender on the Tampa club circuit for seven years and rubbing shoulders with DJs until she gained a buzz with her own underground recordings. She eventually hooked up with Dirty Down Records, who released the original version of Thug Misses.
"They acted like they had the funds to promote the album, but they didn't really have the funds," Khia lamented. "It's been out a year and a half now without promotion. They were just sitting on it. They weren't doing nothing with it. So I got on the road and promoted the album myself, accumulated heat, and Artemis Records picked up the album."
A new version of Thug Misses was released this spring with a few new tracks, including "My Neck, My Back," which she said took 15 minutes to pen. With the track still spinning hard on turntables across the country, she said it will be a while before we get the next single (she's pondering "The K-Wang" and "Remember Me"), let alone her next LP, Street Preacher.
"My second album is already complete," revealed Khia, who's been opening up spot dates for Fat Joe, Fabolous, Truth Hurts, Ja Rule and P. Diddy. "The new album, it's still real. This [second] album is a little more off the chain because I was really able to put out my best."