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stream Tierra Whack’s audio-visual album, see her at Warm Up

Tierra Whack

It would sound way cooler and much more sensational to say that Tierra Whack was forged in the fires of Philadelphia’s battle rap scene, and that she’d known it all along, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate. Think of her decision to make music like you would someone joining in a game of double dutch. Whack—and that is her legal, given name—began penning spoken word poetry in composition notebooks, and was spurred on by both of her parents to stop merely keeping time with the rope and hop on in. It was her dad who first convinced her to put her words to production, which later led to her freestyling over Meek Mill’s “In My Bag”; it was her mom that encouraged her not to hide her talents. “It was like a cypher thing,” said Whack, who originally went by the name Dizzle Dizz, during a recent interview with The New York Times. “I’d see a camera, a big group of guys and my mom would tell me to show them that I could rap.” [The Ringer]

Philly’s Tierra Whack has been rapping since she was a teenager, when she used to perform as Dizzle Dizz, but now she’s making music under her own name and starting to really take off. She had a breakthrough last year with the sort of accidentally-mumble rapped “Mumbo Jumbo,” and a couple weeks ago she dropped her 15-minute audio-visual album Whack World. It’s 15 songs — all of them exactly one minute long — and they tend to cut off abruptly, as if the song hasn’t actually ended, but the tracks end up flowing together really well. We recently caught her at hometown festival Roots Picnic, and our photographer told us “her rapport with the crowd and her onstage presence was simply amazing.”

She’ll be in NYC for Warm Up at MoMA PS1 — she plays the one on July 7 with DJ Playero, DJ Kass, New Impressionz, TAYHANA and Sabine Blaizin. Tickets are available.

Check out Whack World and “Mumbo Jumbo” below:

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