Review Summary: a gimmick // an introduction
Perhaps you’ve heard of the gimmick by now. Tierra Whack, up-and-coming hip-hop artist, decided to debut herself in the most bite-sized way possible; a 15-minute album comprised of 15 one-minute songs. The results are about as one might expect, decidedly mixed, amusing, eclectic, but also surprisingly thoughtful at times.
It’s a decent combination of woozy, tired-sounding rap songs and crazy amusing tracks with an abundance of cleverness and personality to them. After all, this is meant to be more of a straightforward introduction to Tierra than a full on listening experience. The combination of the music and it’s accompanying 15-minute long music video paint a picture of exactly who Tierra wants to be to us, and goddamn is she charming. It’s pretty brilliant too, because even the lowest points (I can’t think of another one-minute song as uninteresting as “4 Wings) don’t last long. The boring tracks are only boring for a minute, and the good songs are good for a whole minute. The album easily invites multiple listens due to fleeting nature, allowing the audience to make choice cuts with ease.
The second half of the release is far more interesting and varied than the first, which dawdles in lame (but still generally solid) RnB and rap combos. Instead, the latter part fancies a more eclectic and comedic approach, such as when Tierra swears in a country drawl over chirping electronics on “Fuck Off” or laments her dead pet over a chorus of barking canines on “Pet Cemetery.” “Silly Sam” works weirdly well as a bluesy drawl with a hip hop beat making probably the most straightforwardly just good track here. Aside from these three tracks (handily all in a row on the track listing), others are sure to find picks that suit their tastes more accordingly; there’s probably something here for everyone.
There’s real effort put into the music too. Her soundscape is often layered and dynamic, even when her lyrics are decidedly simple and stream of consciousness. Her voice is just as varied as the music, slipping in and out of country drawl, bored raps, and up-pitched chirps, sometimes multiple times in one track such as on the atmospheric af “Dr. Seuss”.
In the end, Whack World
serves as an intriguing and successful introduction to her career. Even if there are many misses as there are hits, the pure effort that stems from the release acts as a promise that when she’s ready to take things more seriously, we will be too.