In today’s fickle music game, it’s almost too easy to get caught up in a viral dance or social media hyped up artist. Tink, however, is not one of those artists. The 19-year-old feels like the real deal. Her summer smash with Jeremiah wasn’t only radio and club friendly, it was iPod friendly too. Part of the reason you have to keep turning the dial back on their summer banger “Don’t Tell Nobody” isn’t just because of the easy going bounce of Da Internz production. It’s the way she paints her frustration in such an undeniably transient way. When the aforementioned production duo introduced Tink’s music to Timbaland, that was when the uphill climb began. Whether it’s trading verses with Jay and Rozay on the "Movin' Bass" snippet Timbaland leaked on The Breakfast Club or on a track like “A,B,C Fantasies” where she names her dudes by the letter like a woman’s version of DMX’s “What They Really Want” - Tink seems to be fully aware of her feminity and it’s consistent shade in the male dominated orbit of rap.
Two weeks ago, a female dominated crowd gathered at the Brooklyn venue Baby’s All Right to witness, first-hand, the woman behind all of the beautiful voice and ever-growing buzz of the industry. The night was like an electoral vote for women’s rights in the building, and I was in the front and center with a ballot and a film camera to document and experience it for myself. If there was any more indication that it was a women’s empowerment night, it was evident before Tink made her entrance to the stage. King Shabazz, the promoter who threw the show, and Kitty Cash, the DJ who spun the pre-performance set, all set the vibe of women who are creating their own distinct lanes within the industry. Tink’s burly sized male compandre, DJ Reese, spun her underground hits donning a white t-shirt with old school letters that read "Tink Squad."
“I came here in jeans and a t-shirt for ya’ll,” Tink admitted candidly to the crowd. I turned around to see faces lit up. “Ya’ll always show me some real love in New York.”
She went through her set quickly. She didn’t play every song I liked and I’m not sure the crowd was really into her rap stuff too much. A girl I talked to later after the show said, “I really like her singing voice a lot more.” Much of the show reminded me of her project, Tink’s Diary II, in the way that it was raw and unchiseled but still soulful. For about 45 minutes, she just gave the crowd a piece of her heart. It didn’t feel as rehearsed as FKA Twigs, or as beautifully off-kilter as Kelela. You can tell she’s still figuring her live set out, but there’s such a down to earth personality there that neither the audience nor myself really cared. After all of the bullshit that the industry feeds us, I think people are just eager to feel real emotion.