Chicago’s Tink Cuts Ties With Timbaland To Release ‘Winter’s Diary 5’ Independently

Promising young Chicago rapper Tink spent the last four years locked into record deals with both Timbaland and Epic Records, but as The Fader reports in a new profile on the young star, she is back to the independent grind.

Best known for a series of mixtapes that garnered her much attention and critical acclaim before she’d even graduated high school (including the Winter’s Diary series), Tink signed on with Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group, which was already in an arrangement with Epic Records, at 18 years old. However, the two singles released on the label for her unreleased and oft-delayed album failed to make an impact or meaningfully build on her existing buzz. If anything, they set her back more than promoting her, with Timbaland focusing on a “Modern Aaliyah” angle that just didn’t fit.

As Tink explains to Fader‘s Ben Dandridge-Lemco, “I really had to get a grip on everything in my life so that I could come back and be able to just focus on the music this year. I had dedicated so much time, and we had put in a lot of work together, me and [Timbaland]. We had an album done, but that whole process was just very shocking to me. Going into something and having such high expectations for it, then having to refocus and reprocess everything. I had to really just dig deep and find out what I wanted to say next.”

Although Tink says the album, to be titled Think Tink, was actually completed, but never released as Timbaland wanted to make tweaks. Unfortunately, deep into the album’s promotional cycle, this caused unconscionable delays for his artist’s nascent career, and now, Tink, 22, is back at square one. After the promise displayed on the two most recent, self-funded and released installments of Winter’s Diary, Tink negotiated a release from Mosley Music Group and is now working on Winter’s Diary 5. independently. The first single is “Breakin’ Me,” the video for which is below, and the release date has yet to be announced.