Tierra Whack's 2018 debut, Whack World, gave a taste of the breakout star's weird imagination in 15 one-minute-long, bite-sized pieces. Without such stringent time constraints, her hour-long Outside Lands set allowed her oddball, colorful personality to flourish in one of the day's most dynamic performances.
Whack took the stage Saturday in a Cat in the Hat T-shirt dress draped in tassels, plus matching red-and-white socks and Jordans. Opening with her propulsive trap single "Westbound Eastbound," she worked the crowd, running back and forth and imploring the audience to turn up with her cartoonish facial expressions.
The packed crowd happily obeyed. After asking if there were any birthdays in the house, Whack climbed onto the barrier as if about to crowdsurf, and then, endearingly, handed out cupcakes. (When she was finished, her DJ revealed that it was actually Whack's birthday, and the audience sang to her.)
The rapper then ran through her Whack World tracks, each one distilling a different emotion in 60 seconds—a testament to her effectiveness as a songwriter and performer. The twangy "F-ck Off" gave the audience an opportunity for catharsis as they jumped up and down with middle fingers raised, cursing their "deadbeat dads." During the sexy, winding R&B joint "Hungry Hippo," she walked offstage in a pseudo-diva moment because the audience didn't sing along loudly enough. She returned more hyped than ever when they yelled the lyrics to her satisfaction.
After a call and response of "Whack! Whack!," Whack had her audience repeat weird noises—the kind little kids might make when they think adults aren't listening to their game of pretend. It was the sound of Tierra Whack taking Outside Lands to the wonderful, wacky world of her imagination.