Philadelphia rapper Tierra Whack exploded onto the global music scene last year with the release of Whack World, a dizzyingly ambitious audiovisual album of 15 minute-long tracks (a precise runtime designed to fit Instagram’s video time limit) that snatched the top spot on Dazed’s 2018 Album of the Year list. With her cartoonish, clever aesthetic, rapid-fire flow and a seemingly endless knack for bizarro video characters and concepts, Whack seemed to arrive fully-formed and ready for superstardom.
“You have to just create your own world, and live in it,” Whack says in a Dazed film shot last summer in Philly. “When everybody was going right, I went left; all my cousins, they would all want this one pair of sneakers, and I’m the only one who wants the ones with the wheels!” This unique sense of style and humour, alongside her revelatory talent, has already seen Whack pick up a Grammy nomination (for Whack World’s “Mumbo Jumbo” clip), claim her place on the 2019 Coachella line-up, and collect cosigns from Missy Elliott, Vince Staples, Solange, Hannibal Burress, and Janelle Monaé (who invited her onstage during her own Friday night Coachella slot).
Proving she’s still an excellent rapper past the 60 second mark, in March 2019 – which she declared #WhackHistoryMonth – Whack dropped five new full-length tracks, plus an inspired, Lynchian potato melodrama of a video for “Unemployed”. Having conquered the California desert, she will head to Europe this summer, taking the stage at Primavera festival in Barcelona, before playing her first ever London headline show at Village Underground in June. In other words, Whack is going worldwide.