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Tierra Whack

Tierra Whack is a Philadelphia native whose theatrical, undeniably unique take on contemporary rap and R&B has received widespread acclaim. Her debut album, 2018's Whack World, consisted of 15 one-minute-long tunes, rapidly shifting in mood from playful to introspective to irritated. She further displayed her wry creativity on stand-alone tracks like 2020's "Feel Good" and 2021's "Walk the Beat." A trio of 2021 EPs -- Rap?, Pop?, and R&B? -- addressed her aversion to easy categorization. Her dedication to immediate-sounding songs with conceptual layers continued with 2024's World Wide Whack, a full-length centered around an alter ego of the same name. Whack began writing poetry as a child. She started rapping as a teenager, initially going by the name Dizzle Dizz. A 2011 freestyle video produced by Philadelphia underground music collective We Run the Streets earned her an audience, and she began releasing songs online and performing around town. However, she wasn't satisfied with her work, and was having trouble developing an individual style. Her family moved to Atlanta so she could finish high school. Upon returning to Philadelphia in 2015, Whack (now going by her real name) reconnected with an acquaintance from her teenage years, engineer and producer Kenete Simms, and the two began working on music together. She released several singles in 2017, including "Child Please" and "Mumbo Jumbo," seemingly a satire of mumble rap. In May 2018, she issued the EP Whack World. Presented as a visual release with music videos for each of its 15 brief minute-long tracks, it was a major critical success and appeared on several publications' best-of lists for the year. Whack subsequently performed with her self-acknowledged idol Lauryn Hill in Philadelphia, toured the world with 6LACK, went on an artistic sabbatical in Japan, and appeared on Temi Oni's "Pull Up on You." Early in 2019, "Mumbo Jumbo" was nominated for Best Music Video at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. That February, Whack began the series "#whackhistorymonth," which found her releasing a single a week for five weeks, including "Only Child" and "Wasteland." She appeared on "Yellow Belly" from Flying Lotus' album Flamagra and performed at numerous festivals that year. After collaborating with Melanie Martinez on the single "Copy Cat," contributing to Lil Yachty's Hot 100-charting single "T.D.," and featuring on Alicia Keys' "Me x 7," late in 2020 Whack returned with a string of her own singles that included "Dora," "Feel Good," and "Peppers and Onions." She collaborated with Lego for the video for her April 2021 track "Link," then worked with J Melodic on that August's fashion-themed "Walk the Beat." Whack closed out the year with the genre-focused EPs Rap?, Pop?, and R&B?. An instrumental edition of Whack World that offered a dramatically different listening experience than the original appeared in 2022. Also that year, Whack made an appearance on the soundtrack to The Minions: The Rise of Gru, followed by a contribution to Creed III: The Soundtrack in 2023. She also starred in Cypher, a hybrid documentary-fiction film by director Chris Moukarbel (also known for his work on Lady Gaga's Gaga: Five Foot Two)."Millions (Jumbo Sounds Mix)," a club remix of a song from Rap?, and the single "Chanel Pit" both surfaced during the year. The latter song appeared on her March 2024 debut album World Wide Whack, which introduced a character inspired by Donna Summer, the commedia dell'arte clown Pierrot, and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and featured visuals by Philadelphia-based conceptual artist Alex Da Corte.
© Paul Simpson & Heather Phares /TiVo


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