Give the People More Tierra Whack

Her wildcard creative approach and undeniable voice of individuality quietly took the underground by storm in 2018. With a full head of steam and a more developed and dedicated fanbase, 2019 is full of promise for Tierra Whack, whose new single is eloquent proof that the young vocalist is here for good.

Last summer while mainstream hip-hop was oversaturated with the Drakes and Post Malone’s of music, Tierra Whack was quietly exploding. Her incredibly concise fifteen track project “Whack World” was, impressively enough in only fifteen minutes of content, what truly felt like a world of its’ own, densely packed with a plethora of ideas, voices, and landscapes. It executed the quick seven track Kanye model to an even fuller, richer extent and it showcased the incredibly quirky and diverse persona that Tierra Whack really is.

The accompanying fifteen-minute music video for “Whack World” is equally expressive and creative, making incredible bounds for short format in both music and film. Despite all the provocative questions that Tierra Whack’s work brings up, the biggest and most baffling of them is just how she manages to do all of this at merely 23 years old. Her new single, “Only Child,” abandons the minimalist approach at four minutes in length but still picks up where “Whack World” left off, showcasing incredible voice, production, and individuality.

Although the only children of the audience may take offense to the track’s thematic comparison, “You must be the only child because you’re so stingy,” the attribution of such traits to the song’s subject is incredibly poignant and relatable. The bouncy atmospheric guitar beat sets a gorgeous background to Tierra’s cries for attention as the track retains Whack’s common tropes of crippling loneliness. Among other consistencies, “Only Child” also showcases more of Tierra Whack’s uncanny ability to make such daunting feelings of relational dread sound so damn catchy and accessible. This ability takes a stronger effect than usual, as this track’s four-minute length plays out her ideas much more effectively than her earlier one-minute track format.

As “Whack World” set the groundwork for a mind that is incredibly vast and complex, it appears now that it is Tierra’s time to elaborate a little bit more articulately on those same ideas. The only apparent flaw in “Whack World,” although it is clearly intentional,” is the abrupt feeling of disappointment when the infectious tracks get cut short at just a minute in length. Although the short format undoubtedly adds to the personality of the project, the feeling of the music getting pulled out from under you is undeniable, and it is moreover an extremely satisfying moment as a listener when the idea is fully played out in “Only Child.” When the track ends at 3:59, we feel complete, fully expressed, at peace.

“Whack World” had an inventive format that in itself reflected the exact anxieties that Tierra Whack was expressing in the music, but now we get to watch that knot unwind in front of us. Tierra Whack’s quite literal fifteen minutes of fame are by no means over, as the expansive and deep world of her mind still has endless corners to be discovered, vast journeys to be explored. Now that the smoke has cleared and we know that she is a force to be reckoned with, it is more apparent than ever that the world desperately needs more of Tierra Whack.