Her name is Tierra Whack and the Philly-born rapper lives up to her surname, shaking up the music industries conventionality, leaving glimmers of her whackiness in her wake. Whack IS not and WILL not be defined by labels and boxes in her career. Coming off the success of her debut album, Whack World, a compilation of minute long freestyles released in 2018, Whack invites fans to her back into her unhinged complexity and versatility exploring multiple genres with her latest three-track EPs: Rap? Pop? and R&B? – which is surprisingly not so complex.
To commemorate the versatility, Honda Stage and Billboard teamed up to create unique sets for Whack’s performances, featuring out-of-sorts worlds as her backdrops. Whether she’s sitting on the bedroom floor surrounded by childhood figurines, in the cinder block backyard of a Philly rowhouse, sitting on a wrecked rowboat caught in a storm of black fringe rain, or on the back of a moving truck filled with colorful boxes resembling no real sense of order associated with the act of moving, Whack delivers her straightforward lyrics off her latest projects, flexing her vocals and crisp storytelling.
Rap?, the first drop of the unconventional series delivers straightforward anthems of self-worth and queen-status coronation in “Stand Up” and “Millions.” “Meagan Good,” sandwiched between the previous mentioned, is a song navigating self-discovering in the wake of a breakup. “I know nothin’ last forever but I thought we would/Now you see me doin’ better, you wanna treat me good/Should did when you had the chance, yeah, the paper good, I don’t wanna take you back, you gon’ say I should/oh, you gon’ say I should, I’m doin’ Meagan Good.” The title of the track oddly plays homage to Meagan Good, the beloved actress who first gained fans’ love as Bobby’s loquacious best friend, Nina Jones, on Cousin Skeeter, in the late ‘90s, before her blockbuster success in the years to come. One thing in similar, both Whack and Good have grown in grace; navigating success, critics, and love, and subsequently landing leading roles, respectively. The kids are alright, and that’s the message Whack pens to her ex.
Pop? is an upbeat compilation where Whack explores the faultiness of being a partner, both introspectively of herself and critically of her lover. In “Dolly,” the final track running under three minutes, Whack admits in the chorus, “I have problems that I’m willing to solve.” The rawness of lyrics spills brilliantly over simple acoustics and percussions in this concluding song inspired by Dolly Parton’s bluegrass ballads. “If I hear something cool, I’m like, I wanna try that,” she tells Billboard. “I watched the Dolly Parton documentary on Netflix and I started listening to bluegrass and I’m like ‘yo, this is so cool,’ and then I made a song called “Dolly.””
R&B?, the final drop in the three-part EP series, features songs “Heaven,” and “Cutting Onions,” produced by J Melodic and explores loss and being left in the ashes of picking up one’s feelings. The outro, “Sorry,” is an open penned apology letter to a lover, detailing her shortcomings and fears of losing a relationship. This raw expression of her fears is like reading one’s diary. “Sorry, if I made you feel weak/Honestly, I had a bad week/Three feet, it wasn’t that deep/TLC, I hope he don’t creep,” she sings melodically in the first verse. The production by longtime producer and friend, Kenete Simms, doesn’t overpower the spell bounding sorrow and blues of Whack’s voice.