Tierra Whack: World Wide Whack review – witty, wild and from the heart

<span>‘Multi-textured, multi-hued’: Tierra Whack.</span><span>Photograph: Alex Dacorte</span>
‘Multi-textured, multi-hued’: Tierra Whack.Photograph: Alex Dacorte

Hailed as her generation’s answer to Missy Elliott, Philadelphia rapper Tierra Whack has been celebrated not just for her lyrical dexterity but for her commitment to goofiness. Her exuberant debut mini-album, Whack World (2018), clocked in at 15 one-minute tracks; a clutch of EPs and some standalone singles consolidated her effervescence across different genres.

Last year’s award-winning thriller/spoof documentary about Whack, Cypher, also attested to the weirdness that the creative nonconformist has experienced during her rise. She has trailed World Wide Whack, her official debut LP, with a trio of tracks – one ditty about her smell (Chanel Pit); a funky cut about singing in the shower (Shower Song); and a moving tune about feeling “broken”. The track’s title, 27 Club, refers to Whack not joining the set of artists who died at that age (she is now 28).

Related: ‘Beyoncé said: you’re so silly, I love you!’ Tierra Whack, America’s most creative rapper

So while tracks such as Ms Behave find her flexing hard in a panoply of voices, a significant number of tracks here reroute Whack’s Missy Elliott-gone-Sesame Street vibe somewhere altogether bleaker. Difficult and Numb are self-explanatory; some of the lyrics on Imaginary Friends are even harder to listen to. It all makes for a multi-textured, multi-hued portrait of an artist who playfully seeks out the primary colours but remains very frank about the shade.