At last! Finally! Those are the words I uttered as this week approached. I have watched my calendar for weeks and now I would work on a post I’ve anticipated for a while. This week I am featuring Chicago rapper and singer/songwriter Tink. I have followed her young career for a couple of years, realizing her immense talent at a young age. Now, I am certainly not the only one who recognizes she has special musical abilities.
Tink (Trinity Home) was born on March 18, 1995 in Calumet City, Illinois. Home was nicknamed Tink by friends in elementary school and she has used the name ever since.Tink started singing in church when she was five years old and began writing songs at age 11, including some for her father’s friends. She attended high school at Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy where she participated in talent shows and joined the school choir. She counted English as one of her favorite subjects because it helped her become a stronger writer. She started rapping and recording music in her father’s basement studio at the age of 15.
Of course, I always take extra notice of any Chicago musicians. My own background of growing up in the city makes every music story intriguing. Tink might be part of a new trend in music not only in Chicago, but worldwide. I’ll explain.
There are a great number of young musicians arriving on the scene, boasting good to great musical talent. Of that number there are many female musicians starting to find the eye of music fans worldwide. In the past couple of years I have started to notice in the R&B and Hip Hop genres these female artists can comfortably sing and rap. The material released thus far is evidence the future of music will be flooded with such artists. Tink is one of the best examples of my theory.
Even though I don’t like comparing artists to others, Tink has freely been compared to Lauryn Hill and Da Brat. Her first mixtape, Winter’s Diary, was largely filled with R&B ballads, but her second mixtape, Alter Ego, established her rapping skills. Her subsequent mixtapes have blended her R&B and rap styles. She has also been loosely associated with the Drill movement that was birthed in Chicago. Some of her early songs (like “Bad Girl”) display some of the genre’s hallmarks like aggressive beats and violent lyrics. She has since distanced herself from that movement, saying that she wants to become “a positive, realistic vision of female empowerment.”
I think Tink, and several other female artists, are bringing in a new day of music. Not that rap and R&B are new, but the fact that female artist might get more notice is new, and refreshing. Much of the lyrical content in her music deals with complex emotional issues. She often uses a Chicago setting to convey her feelings about love, heartbreak and faithfulness. At the same time, Tink has been praised for her storytelling ability. I have told several people that she is the consummate artist with an edge. Much like so many other female artists on the rise. The reason might be because the young female artists of today and tomorrow, are able to give material that can touch so many human emotions.
As I began to notice Tink, others in the industry also saw some of the same things I could see. In 2013, the buzz surrounding her mixtape releases and her collaboration with Future Brown led her to have a meeting with record executives in Los Angeles. At the time, she was comfortable staying independent. However, in October 2014, Tink signed a deal with Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group, an imprint of Epic Records. Things got quite interesting after that.
Recently, after watching an interview with DJ Vlad, Tink openly spoke about some of the events surrounding the time when she signed the deal with MMG. “Things moved so fast”, she said. Within three days of the first conversation between Tink and Timbaland, she was on her way back to Los Angeles preparing to work on new music. Right away she and Timbaland developed a chemistry musically that has worked well. Timbaland made headlines in 2015 by indicating at SXSW that Aaliyah had appeared to him and described Tink as “the one.” Tink would later perform an unreleased track that samples Aaliyah’s “One in a Million”. In April 2015, the unreleased track, now entitled “Million”, was released.
In that same interview with DJ Vlad, Tink mentioned that she was not initially comfortable with performing the song “Million”. Some fans also expressed apprehension at the thought of Tink remaking the music of Aaliyah. However, Timbaland seemed to never have doubts about the project, as it has proved to be another vehicle to display the young performer’s talent.
At this point in each post I always speculate about what might be in the future of the artist. At twenty-two years old, Tink appears to have ample years ahead. The album, Think Tink, has been pushed back a few times but is scheduled to be released later this week. I believe when that album is released, she will most likely experience a career bump forward. Timbaland will make sure she has a great chance at finding a successful path.
I really wish the best for Tink. She has really worked hard to get where she is now. Of course, her talent is a big reason for her success as well. Perhaps about ten years from now she will be one of the best in the business. We’ll keep watching and see how it all turns out.