Best R&B Star on the Verge

Tink

Critics' Picks

In her short career this 18-year-old vocalist, born in Calumet City as Trinity Home, has shown a considerable gift for blurring lines that other artists take for granted as fixed. Tink has sung R&B over a Chief Keef beat and rapped over Timbaland-style R&B; she's appeared on the 2014 compilation Boss Shit Only with Atlanta mixtape superstars Migos and Young Thug; and she's collaborated with avant-club artists such as Fatima Al Qadiri and Junglepussy. By covering so much ground in so little time, she's made it clear that she has prodigious ambition and enough raw talent to balance her unpredictability with pop smarts—she could conceivably turn out to be Chicago's answer to Nicki Minaj. Tink's still young, and what direction she takes next remains to be seen—but her ridiculously good recent mixtape (Winter's Diary 2) and her radio-ready contribution to Boss Shit Only ("Undelay") make it seem not just likely but almost inevitable that she'll make the leap from underground phenomenon to straight-up pop star.