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November 15, 2023

Tierra Whack's pseudo-documentary 'Cypher' to stream on Hulu later this month

The film, which won an award at the Tribeca Festival this summer, examines the complexities of fame and the music industry

Tierra Whack's distinct journey to stardom takes center stage in "Cypher," a film about the Philly rapper and singer. It debuted this summer at the Tribeca Film Festival — where it won the Best U.S. Narrative Feature award — but viewers at home can watch it for the first time on Friday, Nov. 24, when it comes to Hulu. 

Described as a "hybrid documentary-fiction film," "Cypher" traces Whack's rapid rise to fame from the age of 15, when her street-rap performances in Philadelphia garnered recognition on YouTube. It delves into the challenges of celebrity, including unsettling fan interactions that prompt thought-provoking questions about the dynamic between being observed and being an observer.

MORE: New HBO documentary follows Philly high schoolers as they record an album

The film was written and directed by Chris Moukarbel, who is known for his documentaries about Lady Gaga and the artist Banksy. He and Whack also are coproducers. The movie's trailer was unveiled at the end of October.

Whack also is gearing up to release a new album next year. Her latest single, "Chanel Pit," debuted earlier this month. The forthcoming album marks Whack's first full-length project since her debut album "Whack World" was released in 2018. She released an EP trilogy — "Rap?," "Pop?" and "R&B?" — in December 2021. 

In an Andscape article published Tuesday, Whack discussed how visual art played a role in developing her artistry. She said she was gifted an iPad on her birthday this year that reinvigorated her love of drawing. She also talked about how her upcoming album prioritizes honesty.

“I’m not gonna sugarcoat it," she said. "I’m just giving it to you. It’s my real life. Like, this is my art, so I’m sharing it with the world...I’m just giving my truth. It’s not like I’m faking this lifestyle or these lyrics. This is just me.”

The trailer for "Cypher" is available on YouTube and can be watched below.