Timbaland has been advocating for his new protégé Tink since adding her to his imprint Mosley Music Group in 2014. Tonight during the last showcase of the Fader Fort at SXSW, the superproducer made a bold statement about the Chicago upstart that involves the late R&B singer Aaliyah.
After Timbaland played a DJ set that included his biggest hits like LL Cool J’s “Headspung” and Jay Z and Justin Timberlake’s “Holy Grail,” he premiered some new material of his own (it features him rapping again) before bringing out Tink. The 19-year-old rapper ran through some unreleased tracks, including one that was an adaptation of Aaliyah’s “One in a Million.”
“I don’t touch any of my sister’s records. I don’t touch Baby Girl’s records—you know that’s Aaliyah,” Timbaland said after Tink performed the song. “She spoke to me in my sleep and said, ‘She’s the one.’"
When Timbaland is passionate about an artist, he backs it up with a lot of praises. Back in November, he spoke openly about Tink’s upcoming album with The Breakfast Club, saying that it’s the best LP he’s worked on since Aaliyah’s platinum-selling album One in a Million. Already she has songs with Andre 3000 and Jay Z under her belt so Timbo might be on to something.
The pair recently released their new single “Ratchet Commandments,” which she also performed live in Austin. Look out for the full video of their performance soon.