It was an average Friday the 13th when my friends told me there were extra tickets to see Tierra Whack that night in Chapel Hill. I had seen Whack a few weeks prior in New York, but I was way in the back of a huge crowd and barely got to see her brightly colored ensemble from there. Needless to say, I was excited to see her again in a much smaller setting. I could not believe that UNC got someone so talented and trailblazing as she is. If you’re unfamiliar, Tierra Whack is a Philadelphia born rapper and singer who is a pro at freestyling, being weird and creating endless microscopic worlds within her songs. I definitely think the side of the rap world that’s occupied by women benefits from a fresh alternative like Whack who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
As we packed into the theatre at Memorial Hall, I was happy to finally sit down and enjoy a concert in the comfort of a chair. The opener was ZenSoFly, a Raleigh based rapper with electronic production. By the time she finished her set I was quite literally itching to see Tierra. She finally arrives on stage via Razor scooter and I scream. She jumps into her performance of CLONES and when she’s finished she questions why the hell everyone was sitting down. Whack tells us to get up and commands the security guards to let us through to the pit area where you can stand directly in front of the stage. Everyone and their mother rushes the stage, my friend and I get split up, but I make it to the pit. Then she starts another song immediately and I just remember jumping up and down for about 2 hours straight after that, blowing out my vocal cords screaming the lyrics and climbing on the side of the stage to dance.
Like something I’d always dreamed, she performed the entire 15 minutes of her debut album, Whack World, a piece of work that was hailed amongst the best albums of 2018 by Complex and Pitchfork. That 15 minutes felt like forever because Tierra Whack is so amazing at creating fun, dark and well rounded soundscapes in her lyrics and production. The show was sprinkled with Whack’s silly personality as she frequently conversed with the audience, handed out microphones for the crowd to sing along, stole keys, wallets and caught the numerous pairs of panties that were thrown at her. After her encore performance of “Mumbo Jumbo,” (a song chosen by a crowd member) she signed shoes for about 20 minutes and then disappeared into the darkness of backstage. I was sore for several days after, it was the most rambunctious, chaotic and enthralling show I’d ever been to.
-cellar door xx