Tierra Whack is the dopest artist you haven’t heard of yet and it’s not even close.
To date, she has a little under 8,000 followers on Twitter, even less than that on SoundCloud and roughly around 20K followers on Instagram; she isn’t trending, nor ever has, and she hasn’t been invited to sit down at The Breakfast Club — yet.
But the instant you play Whack in your headphones, you know you’re listening to a global superstar.
Born in Philadelphia, Tierra Whack first made a splash in the hip-hop stratosphere back in 2011 free-styling on the Cosmic Kev Come Up Show under the moniker Dizzle Dizz.
But it wasn’t until late last year when she dropped the video to her infectious single “Mumbo Jumbo” when blogs, personalities, and the few who know good music, began paying attention.
Much like the song, the video for “Mumbo Jumbo” takes repeated consumption to digest. Melodic, inaudible at times, and sonically refreshing, Tierra Whack takes a creative leap that you’d only expect a newcomer outside of the industry to.
The video is abstract, to say the least, and employs the viewer to connect the dots between what you hear and what you see. There aren’t many in rap doing music or music videos like this right now.
Jot down whichever qualifications or pull up whatever list of qualities a “good emcee” needs, and Tierra Whack crosses each out emphatically. Her wordplay, soul, vision, and voice is something else, and people are just starting to catch on.
Artists like Lil Dickey and Khelani seem to have caught wind of the talented rapper/songstress and even millionaire entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, who has gotten into the habit of extending his marketing advice to hip-hop stars, says “she’s special” and that’s she’s “going to be a ridiculously big star.”
They met in February of this year for an episode of his vlog and put this in the video’s caption:
“I really think that Tierra Whack has a solid shot of being a massive artist in this space. She has something that I don’t see in many other artists, so I just think that this is going to really work out for her.”
With no mixtape, EP, or album, Tierra Whack has managed to harness a sound that is both unique and technically sound.
The grand total of eight songs on her SoundCloud all give you something a bit different, but it’s her penchant for putting words together — something she’s been doing seriously for almost a decade now — that so obviously shines.
Timing is everything and Tierra’s time just might be now. Last year Rapsody was nominated for a Grammy and Cardi B had the number one song in the country. Nicki Minaj has risen again, Princess Nokia and Noname are holding down the underground and CupcakKe has her complete own lane — and that doesn’t scratch the of the female rappers that are gaining ahold on the industry.
Female or not, you’re not going to hear an artist with this much talent this under the radar, which is why you should jump on the bandwagon now.
As a fan, I can only hope Teirra’s momentum carries her to the point of national recognition, and as a fan, I equally just hopes she continues to make great art.