Tierra Whack Osheaga, Montreal QC, August 4

Tierra Whack Osheaga, Montreal QC, August 4
Photo: Chris Bubinas
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Following the sartorial path trailblazed by veteran hip-hop surrealists Missy Elliott and André 3000, the Philadelphia-based rapper (whose real name is, indeed, Tierra Whack) took to the afternoon stage wearing a colourful, deconstructed, Frankenstein-meets-couture dress, a pair of pink ankle socks tucked into off-white, Nike sneakers, her long braids grazing the back of her thighs as a mass of fans and curious passersby screamed with excitement.
 
Touring in promotion of her lauded debut, Whack World, which features 15 tracks that come in at one minute each, Whack was able to play the sharp, sultry, ADHD-friendly release in its (near) entirety, rapping and singing tongue-in-cheek tracks "Black Nails," "Cable Guy" and "Pet Cemetery" — the crowd singing along with the lines "all dogs go to heaven, I miss my dog, I kissed my dog."
 
Accompanied by her hype-man Zach, who looked like a wirier version of Machine Gun Kelly (and who managed to straddle the lines between helpful and irritating), as well as a boy named Sam who they pulled on stage to sing along and dance with, the set was perfectly primed for an audience with a low attention span.
 
Yet despite the fun, colourful energy, Tierra Whack made sure to prove that she was, after all, a rapper bred in the cypher and rap-battle scene. Working her way through singles "Wasteland," "Gloria" and "Unemployed" — arguably the heaviest of her latest releases — Whack solidified herself as a performer not to be messed with.