Tierra Whack
World Wide Whack



by K Bowman STAFF
March 21st, 2024 | 6 replies

Release Date: 03/15/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: real optimism

Tierra Whack is a special artist. After Dr. Seuss, homework, and childhood insecurities inspired a love for rhyming, she quickly revealed herself to be a prodigy-level battle rapper with a sense of humor and consistent flow already far beyond her age. As she grew up and gained fans (leading to a tour and collaboration with Flying Lotus, a spot on an XXL Freshmen list, and a critically acclaimed album), both of these traits were further refined. She has kept the spontaneity and creativity from her teenage freestyles and combined it with an extreme level of precision, a rare pairing. Her energy overflows but still feels like it’s placed and directed completely intentionally. It's hard to imagine that any of her music is anything except exactly what she wants it to be, and what she wants it to be is weird. The three lead singles of WORLD WIDE WHACK broach subjects like shower acoustics and depression while preaching choruses like "mosh pit smelling like Chanel, yes, Microsoft, imma excel." She takes after and sounds like other artists in her scene ("rap? pop? r&b?") who have also ensured their personalities shine through any music they’ve made, with the lyrical originality of DOOM, the balanced emotionality of Starrah, the goofy sincerity of Tyler, and the boundary-pushing rapping of Missy and Andre, none of which are comparisons I make lightly. She stretches past societal and prejudicial limits by pushing abnormal skills into a different realm than we're used to hearing them.

That world is a small one. Her last album's brevity has been discussed to death, but the main reason anyone cared about it in the first place was never really the short length of the songs but the masterful use of just a few elements to create fifteen perfectly curated masterpieces. Thankfully, she has kept that same less is more instinct here. WORLD WIDE WHACK is extremely minimalist. The background tracks tend to be a prominent bassline, drums, and maybe two other instruments or plugins, plus a few tasteful effects from time to time. Her voice is typically mixed to the front and very enunciated, occasionally paired with modified versions of itself for harmonies or side comments, and she plays with it in a way that smears over whatever theoretical blurred lines might exist between rapping and singing in a post-Rappa Ternt Sanga world. Hooks are typically repetitive and frequent, which would be disastrous if they weren't so good. While there are a few exceptions, the vast majority of this album has songwriting that is inviting and warm in a way I find consistently appealing. Her music remains catchy and thoughtful and extremely capable of quitting while ahead. Some have already argued that the extra length has ruined her whole quick singsong thing, or exposed it as a shtick, and though there are parts of the album that I get sick of far more quickly than others, the effort to extend to standard album length is still certainly very successful most of the time. There’s more than just surface-level depth here to explore, with repetition and extra verses allowing her talents in both singing, rapping, and songwriting to stand out.

Songs that are simple and clear are often unfairly dismissed as being relatively meaningless, especially when performed and written by people who are already marginalized, but if that quick rejection happened here, it’d be even more irrational than usual. WORLD WIDE WHACK has complex themes, not just one mood, but also not just a track by track movement from feeling to feeling. Overall, it's casually confident but not cocky, heavyhearted without ever letting go of hope. Troubled songs like "DIFFICULT" and "NUMB" don’t just pair with but connect with chanting tracks like "SNAKE EYES and "X", as well as my personal favorite, reassuring anthems "SHOWER SONG" and "CHANEL PIT." These songs all expose different yet related aspects of a similar mental process. Frankly, it reminds me of my own experiences with therapy, working through hard feelings, trying my best to express myself while maintaining simultaneous realism and compassion. This is brought to a head on the finale, "27 CLUB," which describes suicidality in very frank terms. It can feel uncomfortable hearing this as the conclusion of an album, especially when "suiciiiiiiiiide" inevitably gets stuck in your head, but there's still this sense of assuredness you can hear. When interviewed about the song, Whack said she titled it after making it past her 27th year, the year she planned on her own death. As a 28 year old, she carries on, which brings a new light to a song that might otherwise hit too close to home for some of us. It's that ability to find and subtly expose the connections between the layers in everything that really sets her apart. WORLD WIDE WHACK is just another example of how Tierra Whack is so good at carefully removing the barriers between vocal performances, genres, and even emotions that it always ends up looking like no trouble at all.

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user ratings (21)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2024


Album Rating: 3.7

interview referenced: https://www.vulture.com/article/tierra-whack-27-club-world-wide-whack-interview.html

March 21st 2024


Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yes awesome review

Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2024


Album Rating: 3.6

[2] cannot wait to check this

Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2024


Album Rating: 3.6

ms/ behave is an absolute slapper

Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2024


Album Rating: 3.6

actually much prefer this to her debut, nice

April 8th 2024


Album Rating: 2.5

everything she's one after her debut has been so disappointing unfortunately

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