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  • Writer's pictureLillian Wong

It's a Whack, Whack, Whack, Whack World

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

Tierra Whack with a messed up face

Less than a century into the future, a small planet is discovered as a possible home for surviving refugees of Earth's man-made global warming apocalypse. It is named Whack World. I left the future before learning if the humans ever made it there.

In 2018 C.E., Tierra Whack released an instant classic that makes it understandable why an orbiting rock should be named after it. Seemingly designed for Instagram-era attention spans, each song is only a minute long. However, within each 60 second micro-song, the Philly-born artist manages to spin a work so complete and full of rich detail, nothing is missed in the brevity.

The sequencing is immaculate. 15 little songs are woven into a 15 minute float through the many facets of Whack's personality. Ordered any differently, the entire project might have collapsed under the weight of what makes it special: an unflinching and unashamed embrace of self.

The current landscape of hip hop predominately favors overly image-conscious artists posturing to be perceived as epically cool at all times while dropping brand names into their flows like paid advertising for their maybe someday lifestyles. Whack is real life right now, man. If the 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th song on Whack World played first, it would be easy enough to write off Tierra as too quirky, too weird to fit in right now.

Instead, she smartly invites you into her world slowly by offering up early tracks that feel familiar and easy enough to digest alongside anything by Nicki Minaj or Cardi B. However, a profoundly astonishing blitz of songs midway through the album smashes all expectations. And by the time it starts happening, you are right there with Tierra holding the hammer.

An unembarrassed R&B ode to a beloved dog passing away is followed by a kick-him-to-the-curb banger delivered in a mock-country boy accent is followed by a Les Paul-esque guitar riff soundtracking a cynical look at relationship games is followed by the best musical case made for maintaining a healthy diet since Brian Wilson's own ode to eating vegetables. Where is such inspired subject matter delivered in a dizzying flurry of genre-bending formats?

Only on Whack World. It's no wonder humans will one day want to live on such a planet.

Oh and she also made the entire thing into a non-stop feast for the eyes. Stop reading, and start watching/listening to her visual album here:

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