Tierra Whack

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Tierra Whack
Birth nameTierra Whack
Born (1995-08-11) August 11, 1995 (age 23)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer-songwriter
Associated acts

Tierra Whack (born August 11, 1995)[1][2] is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a teenager, she performed as Dizzle Dizz and reverted back to her birth name in 2017.[3] She is best known for her debut album, Whack World, which received widespread critical acclaim and a Best Music Video nomination for the 2019 Grammy Awards.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Whack was born in 1995 and raised by her mother in Philadelphia. She has two younger siblings. In a 2018 interview with The Fader, Whack mentions that she and her father are estranged.[1]

Whack attended The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush for three years before finishing high school in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] At Benjamin Rush, she was a vocal major and fine arts minor, and was one of few black students in a predominantly white graduating class.[1] With some difficulty, she and her friends persuaded their principal to let them perform the finale number from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit for the school talent show,[1] and Whack performed a rap verse. Later in Whack's career, she toured with Lauryn Hill, who starred in the 1993 film.

At age fifteen, Whack appeared in a 2011 freestyle video produced by Philadelphia's underground music collective We Run the Streets.[5] She released several tracks as Dizzle Dizz, including "Dizzy Rascvls," but struggled with depression in the months following.[1] Her mother elected to move them both out of Philadelphia, so Whack could finish school.[1]

Musical career[edit]

By 2015, Whack had moved back to Philadelphia, where she reconnected with Kenete Simms, a sound engineer and music producer whom she had known as a teenager.[1] Whack credits Simms as her collaborator.[1] Sometime in 2017 (Whack hasn't divulged details to the press), she signed with Interscope Records.[1]

In October 2017, Whack released Mumbo Jumbo, a hip-hop single and accompanying music video which featured the young rapper performing while wearing a mouth prop.[1] Most of the lyrics to the track are purposefully unintelligible.[1] She also toured with Flying Lotus in 2017.[1]

2018–present: Debut album[edit]

Whack's debut album, Whack World, received a "Best New Music" accolade from Pitchfork. Critics praised the unusual format of the album — 15 tracks, each exactly 1 minute long. Whack released each short track on Instagram, each accompanied by a short film directed by Thibaut Duverneix and Mathieu Léger.[3] The multimedia project received widespread critical acclaim. Robert Christgau gave the album an A-minus and reported in Vice that his wife, fellow critic Carola Dibbell, loved the video, saying "it gave me reason for living".[6] The track "Mumbo Jumbo" received a nomination for Best Music Video for the 2019 Grammy Awards. [4] In October 2018, Whack travelled to Tokyo, Japan for a long-term artistic sabbatical.[1] She has recorded as-yet-unreleased music with Meek Mill and Childish Gambino.[1]

In 2018, she toured with 6lack on his world tour, From East Atlanta with Love.

Personal life[edit]

Whack has written poetry since she was a child.[7] She is also an accomplished spoken word performer.[5]

She currently lives in Philadelphia with her mother and two siblings.[1] She owns a cat, whom she named Starkey after a Whole Foods brand of sparkling water.[1] She does not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.[1] She is severely allergic to insects, a condition she satirizes in the music video for her 2018 track, "Bugs Life".[7]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Kameir, Rawiya (1 November 2018). "Tierra Whack". Fader. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Tierra Whack on Instagrm". Instagram. August 11, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Coscarelli, Joe. "15 Songs in 15 Minutes: Inside Tierra Whack's Whimsical, Twisted World". New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Harvilla, Rob (2018-12-07). "The Winners and Losers of the 2019 Grammy Nominations". The Ringer. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  5. ^ a b Bailey, Samaria (15 May 2018). "A conversation with Tierra Whack about self-confidence, Philadelphia and that last name". Revolt.tv. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 13, 2018). "Robert Christgau on G.O.O.D Music's Good (and Less Good) Music". Vice. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  7. ^ a b St. Felix, Doreen (1 July 2018). "Tierra Whack Stretches the Limits of One-Minute Songs". The New Yorker. Retrieved 20 November 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]