A conversation with Tierra Whack about self-confidence, Philadelphia and that last name

The rising artist is unpredictable and encouraging self-acceptance.

  /  05.15.2018

by Samaria Bailey

At the age of 10, Philadelphia-raised hip-hop artist Tierra Whack began writing “words that rhyme.” By 15, she was grabbing attention as “T Dizzle” or “Dizzle Dizz” after a 2011 We Run The Streets video surfaced, showing her freestyling on a street corner for as many as seven men, some amused, others just observing. With a rapid, clever flow, “Dizzle” eventually gained the attention of deejays, and a co-sign from Meek Mill.

Now, at 22, she’s recording under her given name, Tierra Whack, with a sound that can best be described as, well, her. Melodies, sound effects, and deft percussion are the backdrops for storytelling lyrics one has to actually pay attention to, to understand. “Child Please” references “thinking about the ding-a-ling” at 13. “Mumbo Jumbo” is incoherent, the ultimate mumble rap song. And “Toe Jam” warns “crack kills; if it don’t get you, Whack will.”

Whack currently envisions performing in arenas and acting in movies, with the ultimate goal of paying her mom’s bills, but for now, we talked to the rising star about her hometown, inspirations, self-confidence, and more.

How would you describe your music? I actually can’t pick a specific sound because I’m always just experimenting. It’s all about a mood I’m in or an emotion, like me trying to express an emotion. Right now, I’m kind of relaxed, thinking.

You started in spoken word. Do you still perform it? Sometimes I write little a capellas, but it kind of moved on. That was the first step. And then it became doing the poems to the beats. And then it turned to rap and singing, mixed together.

And you performed in church, too? Yeah, my aunt was in the church choir. I was singing in the choir. It was fun. I did see people catching the Holy Ghost. I wanted to catch it too, but that didn’t happen.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tierra Whack (@tierrawhack) on

What was it like growing up in North Philadelphia? It was crazy, but it was regular to us. I remember hearing gun shots but not even running, you know what I mean? It was just like, ‘It’s cool, everybody know each other, somebody just had to get their beef over,’ you know?

What influence did Philadelphia have on you? Just having that rawness and being ready for any and everything. I feel like Philly really builds you up for the real world. They say if you can survive and make it out of Philly, you can make it anywhere.

Was Meek Mill an inspiration for you? He’s a mentor for everybody in Philly. He was the template. You got to get out and rap to whoever you got to rap to and get to where you got to go.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tierra Whack (@tierrawhack) on

After Eve, you could be the next major woman rapper out of Philly. Is that a lot of pressure? No, it’s no pressure. I’m me. I’m only in competition with myself.

How did you gain so much confidence? Doing this so long, you’ve got to build yourself up. My mom, she’s a tough mom. She got me ready. She pushed me to believe in myself and love myself because she loved me. It’s natural to be scared, but you got to keep going. You can’t let your fears hold you back.

So, who is your inspiration? I love Lauryn Hill. Outkast is my favorite rap duo. Missy, Busta, Eminem.

What is your favorite Outkast album? Maybe Stankonia. The cover is just fire. That’s what I’ve been listening to the most. But then I do love The Love Below because I love Andre 3000 so much. They get his crazy side. He just does what he wants, but you can still tell [that] after all these years he still gets shy. I like to see [that] he is still human after all the success he had.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tierra Whack (@tierrawhack) on

What do you want people to get out of your music? I just want them to feel, to know, that it’s okay to feel a certain way. That’s why for awhile I was anti-social because I felt like no one really understood, or wanted to understand, where I was coming from. That’s why I started writing, to express myself. I always had random thoughts and people would look at me crazy because I just had random things in my mind. I would say it aloud sometimes, but instead I could just write it down and not be judged for it.

What’s your dream? To be successful enough to support my family. I want to pay my mom back for everything she did for me. I want to reverse it.

Lastly, did people make fun of your last name in school? All the time. I hated it. But then I learned to accept it because I am who I am. They said my middle name is ‘is’: ‘Tierra is Whack.’ Whack was just bad. But I, naturally, was Whack, but I was cool in school. It gave people a different perspective of what you think of the word.

More by Samaria Bailey:



View More



View More


Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

Jordyn Woods talks prioritizing authenticity, her brand & saying, "No" | 'Assets Over Liabilities'

On this episode of “Assets Over Liabilities,” Jordyn Woods welcomes hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings to her headquarters to discuss expanding Woods by Jordyn, prioritizing authenticity throughout her brand promotions, not talking about money with friends, being patient, and saying, “No.” Watch here!

  /  08.09.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

How Angela Yee found more to her life's purpose beyond the microphone

Check out six insightful gems that Angela Yee dropped on “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels.”

  /  09.13.2023

7 Atlanta residents reveal what they’re most excited about for the first-ever REVOLT WORLD

“I love music and media and thoroughly enjoy observing panels,” one person said. “Also…I love to see our artists performing, so I’ll definitely be in attendance to see Babyface Ray perform!”

  /  09.05.2023

Doechii pays homage to hip hop icons and talks pushing the boundaries of music genres

Ahead of hip hop’s 50th birthday, Doechii sat with REVOLT for an exclusive interview and talked about her upcoming tour with Doja Cat, love for Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, some of her favorite rap albums and much more. Read up!

  /  08.04.2023

Yo-Yo is happy hip hop's trailblazers are being recognized & loves how fearless today's female lyricists are

Ahead of hip hop’s 50th birthday, Yo-Yo opened up about her outstanding career and the women who are holding down the fort today. “I think this generation is more fearless, they take less s**t, they say what they want, and they get it,” Yo-Yo stated in this exclusive interview. Read up!

  /  08.07.2023

Web3 | Ice Cube's BIG3 league is centering innovative ownership opportunities within sports

“Ownership holds a lot of weight. It’s about reaping the rewards of your hard work, having a say in how things roll,” Ice Cube tells REVOLT in this “Web3” exclusive about giving fans a piece of the BIG3 pie.

  /  08.18.2023

Scotty ATL is achieving longevity with grillz by staying ahead of the curve

“I built my own lane… I’m just educating myself on a daily basis,” he told REVOLT in this exclusive interview for Black Business Month. Read up!

  /  08.16.2023

Jaylen Brown: Hip hop has been an essential part of my growth as an athlete

Ahead of hip hop’s 50th birthday, REVOLT sat down with NBA star Jaylen Brown to discuss his career, the South’s impact on rap, the importance of Black media outlets and so much more. Read up!

  /  08.02.2023

Pride was the theme of the night at the inaugural Caribbean Music Awards

“This marks an important historic moment,” Wyclef Jean exclusively told REVOLT. “The Caribbean Music Awards created a bridge to unify all Caribbean artists and show the world that [we] are strong in numbers, as well as leaders of the culture.”

  /  09.05.2023

Breakdancing, an oft-ignored pillar of hip hop, is taking its rightful place in the spotlight

In celebration of hip hop’s 50th birthday, we discuss the history of breaking, the art form serving as a voice for the marginalized and it being added to the 2024 Olympics. Read up!

  /  08.10.2023

Halftime Report | How Rucker Park culture transformed the legacies of hip hop and basketball

The late Greg Marius played matchmaker between basketball and hip hop, and the marriage is still going strong. In honor of hip hop’s 50th birthday, read our latest “Halftime Report” below.

  /  08.09.2023

Happy 50th birthday, hip hop! A letter celebrating and thanking you on your big day

Happy 50th anniversary, hip hop. You’re on a tier where no tears should ever fall. My hope is that the millions of us forever enriched by your glory of the past 50 years continue to endure and inspire in your name over the next 50. 

  /  08.11.2023

Flau'jae is winning on and off the court with zero plans of slowing down

“I still feel like I haven’t scratched the surface of my capabilities… I just want to be the best version of myself,” she acknowledged in this exclusive interview for REVOLT. Read up!

  /  08.22.2023

Kickin' Facts with Legendary Lade | Clarks Originals x MAYDE WORLDWIDE Wallabee “Pacific Blue”

LA native and designer Aleali May teams up with Clarks Originals for a new collaboration.

  /  08.21.2023

Web3 | Willow Smith's groundbreaking honor as the first-ever RIAA NFT plaque recipient

This groundbreaking chapter in Willow Smith’s journey signifies innovation at the intersection of Web3 and the music industry. Read up!

  /  09.01.2023

Kickin' Facts with Legendary Lade | Looking back at 50 years of hip hop through four genre-defining sneakers

As we celebrate hip hop’s 50th year, let’s take a look at a few of the sneakers that have defined the genre.

  /  08.08.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes