During his visit to Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club earlier this week, Timbaland gushed over Chicago double-threat Tink, the rapper and singer who officially signed to his Mosley Music Group imprint last month: “She was music, and she saved my life…. You can’t believe somebody at 19 got it. We don’t see that no more. The past person we saw [like her] was Drake.” Strong words, but for those who’ve been following Tink (born Trinity Home, in Calumet City, between Chicago and Hammond, Ind.) since her startlingly mature 2012 debut, Winter’s Diary, it was only a matter of time before she blew up.
Over two years and five mixtapes, ranging from tough-talking drill to vulnerable, super-sexy R&B—and slaying at both—Tink’s been bubbling just under the radar, and with Timbaland’s passionate co-sign, it feels like it’s finally her time. On “Movin' Bass,” which Timbo premiered on The Breakfast Club, she trades verses with Jay Z and Rick Ross like a seasoned pro, and though the official version of the track ultimately landed on Ross’ Hood Billionaire album sans Tink, it’s the biggest look of her career so far.
With her debut album—executive produced by Timbaland, naturally—in the works for next year via Epic Records and Mosley Music Group, Tink’s days as a cult favorite are numbered, and that’s a good thing. Until then, it’s not too late to get familiar (or re-acquaint yourself) with her catalog, which runs deep for her deceptively brief couple years in the game. From sex jams to broken-hearted ballads to drill bangers, we’ve compiled the 11 best Tink songs: Get in tune.
Meaghan Garvey is an artist and writer, born in Chicago and currently living in Brooklyn. She's on Twitter @moneyworth.