Tierra Whack is more than a breath of fresh air in the rap space; she’s an ice-cold sip of water from an artesian well that tastes like, well, water, but is cleaner, smoother, and healthier for the conscience. For her latest endeavor, she’s found a way to tie together two unlikely topics – an unfaithful other, and, surprisingly, having no siblings. Thus comes “Only Child,” an examination of what having no brothers or sisters does to a person’s character.
Whack’s sing-songy voice leaks between the well-worn cracks of hip-hop and R&B, landing firmly in the middle for her refrains, choruses, and random words and phrases of her verses. “Only Child” is darker than the goofy atmosphere, created by the bubbly beat — that blots youthful energy like blotches of paint in the back end — initially lets on.
The tune’s focus is a self-absorbed, narcissistic, only child who refuses to treat the rapping siren right. She slurs her words at times, clearly cuts them at others, as she reveals what’s on her mind to this jerk; of her lengthy list concerns, refusing to defend her honor, giving her syphilis (yikes), and being hypocritical stand out as reasons that we, the audience eavesdropping on her scene-stealing monologue, would want to join her in shaking our heads in shame. “Every move you make, man, I swear it seem suspicious / Lyin’ through your teeth, so I don’t rush to give you kisses” is an especially pointed punch, a gut check that’s as plain, and honest, as a fed-up lover could give.
Many of the criticisms levied at her partner also reveal what she believes an “only child” acts like; they don’t think of anyone but themselves, they can be spiteful, and they refuse to share anything. Of course, not everyone’s like this. Tierra Whack has two younger siblings herself, so maybe something like this comes from her own experiences dealing with others.
This conversation-starting record hopefully means something is around the corner to follow her excellent debut album, Whack World, that dropped in 2018. Her breakout LP consisted of 15 one-minute songs across rap and R&B’s colliding dimensions, throwing aspects of pop culture – both past and present – in a blender. The resulting solution came packaged with a 15-minute film accompaniment that consisted of an explosion of colors, theatrics, and mind-bending originality that collectively announced her as a one to watch.
With the release of “Only Child,” Whack has proven that she’ll always remain in power. Check out “Only Child” – the attack on solo children – above.