TiaCorine's 'Chaka Khan' Is Naughty and Nostalgic

TiaCorine's 'Chaka Khan' Is Naughty and Nostalgic

TiaCorine is one of North Carolina's finest hip-hop exports, with a buttery sweet voice that delivers sharp, witty bars for days.

Following her viral 2020 hit "Lotto," Tia has continued to shine on lo-fi, bubbly pop beats that allow her heavy-hitting lyrics to shine. Whether she's singing of sexual encounters or sizing up her opponents, it's done with a magnetic swagger and precision that emulates some of the modern-day rap greats without sacrificing her own originality.

On her latest single, "Chaka Khan," Tia teams up with longtime friend and collaborator Kenny Beats for a sickeningly sweet and nostalgic romp through the rapper's mind as she flashes an awe-inspiring sexual prowess and sharp sense of humor. Beats' chameleonic nature allows him to emphasize her strengths, laying out the foundation with smooth and minimalist production laced with funk and jazz influences as Tia prances around effortlessly. She taunts, teases and commands as she switches between silky vocals and conversational raps.

TiaCorine explains the quirky origins of "Chaka Khan," telling PAPER:

"'Chaka Khan' was a collaboration between Kenny Beats and I. The style was something different for both of us so it was really fun walking into it together blindly. I remember being halfway done and Kenny telling me, 'you’re a genius!' We played it back like 20 times, so it's def one of my favorites off of my new album, I Can’t Wait. It was also a highly anticipated song bc we made it over a year ago and my supporters have been begging me to drop it, so I’m excited that it’s finally out. The inspo for this song came from me shopping inside of Dolls Kill on Fairfax in L.A.—they were playing some type of funk/pop/techno music and I just loved it, it reminded me of when I used to speed skate and brought back a very nostalgic feeling / memory for me. I was also wearing this fluffy purple mullet and everyone kept saying I looked like Chaka Khan, so I decided I want to incorporate it into a song. When I got with Kenny, he asked me what I been on and I explained the whole deal at Doll's Kill and pulled up some examples on YouTube and, BOOM — 'Chaka Khan' was made!"

As for the song's vibrant and bubbly video, Tia chose to keep it literal. "I've actually been sitting on 'Chaka Khan' for a while," she explains. "I dropped a snippet of it with a 10 or 15 second video clip earlier this year — everyone loved how literal it was, so I wanted to keep that same idea for the video, really leaning into that old school aesthetic while also keeping it fresh and fun."

From drop-dead gorgeous looks to cheesy green screens (including a hilarious costume change of her doing her best dad impression), Tia's charm goes far beyond what she's proven she could do with her raps. She blends humor, early '00s aesthetics and a shameless desire to push the limits of her creativity to wrap up in a perfect package deal. TiaCorine is the future.

Below, check out the PAPER premiere of "Chaka Khan" by TiaCorine and stream her new album, I Can't Wait.

Photo courtesy of Terry Suave