Tierra Whack Is Once Again Proving Herself a Genre-Spanning Visionary

Photo: Flo Ngala

When Tierra Whack told fans last June that she was quitting music, a dark cloud formed over 2021 that we've been unable to quite shake since. Luckily, the Philly rapper has spent the better part of the month compiling three distinctive glimpses into her genre-spanning world. Signaled by Rap?, Pop? and most recently, R&B?, each demonstrate Whack's signature off-the-wall style.

Since the release of her debut album Whack World in 2018, the artist has spent most of her time out of the limelight, collaborating with artists behind the scenes and releasing the occasional single without a word. This month Tierra Whack returns with three new short-and-sweet projects, Rap?, Pop?, and R&B?, the former being a small bundle of off-kilter hip-hop bangers, the second being a collection of three tracks that simply refuse to be tied down, and the latter showing off a more sentimental side to the unparalleled creative. 

On Pop?, the upbeat "Body Of Water," released alongside a Cat Solen-directed visual, is an uptempo and groovy track whose percussion is so infectious it sounds like it could have been pulled from an early OutKast record. "Dolly," the EP closer, is a minimalistic and downtempo meditation that evokes comparisons ranging from The Dixie Chicks to Kevin Abstract's early work. Even "Lazy," a garage rock-inspired banger, could only have been cooked up in a studio session with Beck and Monaleo. 

Meanwhile on R&B?, Whack looks inward on standout cuts "Heaven" and "Cutting Onions," holding her heart close to her chest all while delivering illuminating confessionals. However, EP closer "Sorry" sees the walls come crumbling down as she unfurls a hypnotic series of apologies over a faint, fluttering beat. 

Somehow, Whack finds her sound expanding across all corners of music and whether she's delivering carefully crafted bars, singing about her romantic frustrations, or baring her soul, she consistently delivers something that few of her peers can.