Timbaland's young protege carves out her own lane.

Tink began to make national headlines around the time that Chief Keef, Lil Durk, and Katie Got Bandz introduced drill music to the mainstream. And while the young MC also got her start in Chicago’s underground scene, as her career developed, she proved to have a much softer edge and more accessible pop sound than her peers, whose rhymes are often up-front about the struggles of the city nicknamed Chiraq. Tink’s self-released mixtapes Winter’s Diary and Alter Ego caught the attention of producer super-group Future Brown, which introduced the vocalist to a high-brow audience with its austere, electronic track, “Wanna Party,” which features her vocals. Soon after, legendary producer Timbaland (whose signature sound defined Aaliyah’s One in a Million and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”) reached out to Tink to produce her first studio album and release it through his imprint of Epic Records, Mosley Music Group. The forthcoming project is as much of a comeback for him as it is a major step in Tink’s ascent to stardom. She performs at the Mezzanine in San Francisco this Thursday with support from rising Berkeley rapper Caleborate.


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