It’s Whacks world and we’ve only caught a glimpse

Rapper Tierra Whack is quickly becoming one of the most creative artists on the scene today.


The rap industry has grown like wildfire in the 21st century, with a plethora of generation-defining artists evolving into the rockstars of our time. The female representation in the genre in particular has seen exponential growth in recent years, with rappers like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion capturing the ears of listeners across the globe. However, one rapper hailing from Philadelphia is bringing her own charismatic spin to the rap game: Tierra Whack.

Born in 1995, Whack and her two siblings were raised by a single mother in North Philadelphia. Growing up, Whack always carried a shyness about her, but her introverted nature allowed her infatuation with writing and poetry to blossom. For Whack, writing in rhyme allowed Whack to escape her insecurities, serving as a medium by which she let her creativity flow.

“I couldn’t tell you how I felt verbally but I could write it down,” Whack told The Fader in 2018.
“(I felt) almost like I couldn’t find the words. I felt like in a box and kinda like I don’t wanna talk or know how to talk.”

As she entered her teenage years, Whack began to delve further into her craft, breaking onto Philadelphia’s battle rap scene under the moniker “Dizzle Dizz”. She quickly garnered local fame appearing in videos for Philly rap collective “We Run the Streets”, as well as drawing buzz amongst the freestyle rap community. At the time, Whack was also attending The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, where she majored in vocals with a minor in fine arts.

While Whack saw tremendous early success, she felt trapped in Philadelphia. She was one of only a handful of African American students at Benjamin Rush, and despite her success in the rap battle community, Whack never truly felt her creativity could flourish, and she fell into depression. It was at this time that her mother decided to relocate the household to Atlanta, as she believed a fresh start would give Whack the confidence to pursue her gift.

“I needed to get away from Philly, where I was born and raised,” Whack told NPR in 2019. “I needed a break. I isolated myself. It was kinda like I took time off from home to go explore.”

In Atlanta, Whack was able to find stability working at Mister Car Wash, a job that she describes as having been among the things that shaped her confidence in facing adversity. Whack describes that summer working at the car wash as having been a transcendent moment in her life, as she was the only woman working on the line, and one of few to not quit after their first shift.

With the money she had earned working at the car wash, Whack was able to buy a laptop and finally begin recording her own music. In 2015, she returned to Philadelphia, determined to hone her craft. There, she reconnected with long-time friend and producer Kenete Simms, who taught Whack how to mix and master on her own. With the proper equipment and work ethic handed down from her mother, Whack spent the next two years working tirelessly on her music, and subsequently released three singles in 2017: “Toe Jam”, “Shit Happens”, and “Mumbo Jumbo”.

Out of the three, “Mumbo Jumbo” gained her the most notoriety, as the accompanying video would be nominated for a Grammy in 2019. Whack was quickly signed to Interscope Records.

In 2018, Whack released her first studio album, titled “Whack World”. The 15-track album runs just under 15 minutes, with each song serving as a 60-second look into Whack’s complex world. The album is both satirical and whimsical, with just a dab of melancholy. At its heart, “Whack World” captures the emotional outlets Whack felt had served as her means of escape while growing up in North Philly. Whack is able to convey her thoughts and feelings to her listeners,
whether it be the hit “Hungry Hippo”, in which she is heard dubbing herself “not your average girl”, or “Bugs Life”, in which she takes a humorous approach to her severe allergy to insects.

“90% of the time, I’m being silly,” Whack told NPR in 2019. “But it’s like that 10% that’s still serious. ’Cause life is not sweet. It’s good and it’s bad. So no matter how much good is going on, the bad is always going to creep up.”

While she has yet to release a follow-up album, Whack has continued to release music, even appearing on tracks with Tyler the Creator and A$AP Rocky. In December, her singles “Peppers and Onions” and “feel good” were featured in her commercial for Apple Music. Her latest single, “Link”, is quietly climbing the charts, as Whack looks to continue ascending the ranks within the industry.

Through her labor of self-love and unrivaled creative process, Tierra Whack is truly proving that it’s her world, and we’re simply living in it.