New Artist Tink Redefines Feminism in Rap
Tink has spunk. The petite hip-hop artist openly identifies as a feminist and has renounced the “bitch” title: an easy go-to image for female rappers. This is bold and refreshing territory for an up-and-coming artist competing with the likes of Nicki Minaj.
Tink’s February cover story with Fader chronicles her path from Chicagoan recording tracks in her basement, to signing with Timbaland’s label Mosley Music Group. Fader even compares her fierce attitude to Daenerys Targaryen, and rightly so. Tink is undoubtedly breaking boundaries within hip-hop culture, in true Daenerys fashion.
“I’m definitely a feminist. The industry made me that way. I had to grind so hard to be taken seriously, had to work twice as hard to get here,” Tink said in her interview with Fader. “I’m in my own little lane, doing just me. I don’t have to fit in.”
A compelling feminist voice is desperately needed in rap music today. While popular artists like Missy Elliot and M.I.A. are recognizable feminists, they are easily drowned out by chart-toppers like Minaj.
Nicki Minaj has addressed the importance of female empowerment and strength before.
“I love my females. I give them confidence to say I am me, take it or leave it, I love it and I don’t care what you think about it,” Minaj said in an interview.
But that message is clouded by her lyrics and emphasis on physical traits. She is the highest-selling female rapper, but her song lyrics generally lack substance. Such as the song “Anaconda” with lyrics that read:
“Fuck those skinny bitches in the club. I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the motherfucking club, fuck you if you skinny bitches. What? Yeah! Yeah. I got a big fat ass. Come on!”
Tink’s strong feminist presence, and dedication to following her own path, is the perfect antidote to the degradation of women in the industry.
“I had to cut off calling myself a ‘bitch.’ And I cut out some of the songs where I was degrading myself. When people do that, of course it’s seen in a fun way, but at the same time it’s sending the message to everybody else to look at you as a bitch,” she told Fader. “I want to dig deep into bad relationships, molestation, racism, and not feeling pretty. I want to get under people’s skin.”
And we want you to, Tink. Combining societal issues with catchy music will help empower women who feel oppressed and discriminated against. Tink, who is only 19, can also help send the message to young women that there are more important things than having a pretty face and Minaj-esque booty. And she has the musical talent to make it big. With songs like “Tell the Children” and “Try Me” Tink has the momentum to become the next It Girl.
Read the full cover story here.