9. Tink, Winter’s Diary 2
Before Timbaland swept in and declared Tink his new protégé, the Chicago artist was already playing at a college level with a string of mixtapes that skillfully juggled rapping and singing. The spice of standout hit “Fingers Up” was dialed down on January’s Winter’s Diary 2, ripped straight from the trenches of her magic markered journal. She draws hearts around a boy’s name on the stormy “When It Rains,” but is just as quick to turn on him on the guitar-plucked “2 and 2” — just a few examples of how willing and able she is to dump and sort through her baggage in public. Tink doesn’t yet feel old enough to fully grasp how far the emotional spectrum of relationships can run (she’s only 19), but she’s already an expert in working with what she knows.

This time last year we were working on it in her Pop’s basement. It’s crazy how fast things change.

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