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Black Ink Crew: Chicago

Black Ink Crew: Chicago

Photo Credit:  VH1
  • Premiered: 
    October 26, 2015
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: VH1
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    2nd series in BLACK INK CREW franchise, following Black Ink Crew 
  • Subject Matter: Workplace
  • Tags: tattoo

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Plot Synopsis

BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO is a one-hour reality series that follows a group of friends and co-workers at 9Mag, a Windy City tattoo shop that is a mecca for hip hop elites, celebrities and athletes. The crew includes: Ryan, the owner of 9Mag, who created the business as a legacy to his late sister and niece; Kat, the shop's female tattoo artist, who is the "little sister" of the shop and flirts shamelessly with Phor -- but finds it hard to commit to him because of her ambitious career goals; tattoo artist Phor, who burns the candle at both ends, tattooing, spending time in the studio, and, of course, partying with his 9Mag family; event planner Charmaine, whose flirtatious nature creates tension and drama in the shop, especially between Don and his girlfriend, Ashley; Don, Phor's little brother and assistant, who tries to maintain his focus so he can provide for Ashley and their two-year-old son, DJ; receptionist Danielle, who is Charmaine's cousin and Kat's former college roommate; and Van, Ryan's former business rival, who got his start tattooing from his mom's basement and took his business to another level when he partnered with Ryan.

Season 2 of BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO premiered on Monday, October 3, 2016 from 9-11pm ET/PT, as VH1 debuted back-to-back new episodes. Back to the business and hustle at 9Mag, the notorious tattoo shop in the heart of Chicago, season two follows the crew as they are faced with huge changes in their personal lives and even bigger changes in the shop that once brought them all together. This season welcomes back series regulars Ryan, Kat, Phor, Charmaine, Don, Van, and Danielle, along with new tattoo artists Cobra Kat and Junior Diaz. Competition in the shop is on the rise and 9Mag is faced with more threats than ever as ego and tensions within the group cause loyalty to be tested. The drama continues when Van is released from prison, a secret love child is revealed and an unexpected relationship forms that causes a divide within the shop. Expect more ink, more heart and even more drama from the streets of America's roughest city.

BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO returned for its third season on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1, immediately following a 10-hour marathon (10am-8pm) of encore episodes. In the season opener, "The New Barack and Michelle Obama," Ryan battles his staff over their growing disrespect towards him. Don and Ashley's marital bliss is threatened. Kat leaves Chicago for LA. Van starts a brawl at the 9Mag anniversary party. Ashley starts trouble with Charmaine. BLACK IN CREW: CHICAGO returned with new episodes on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT, as VH1 premiered back-to-back new episodes, "Freeze My Fupa!" and "Lola from NOLA." Ryan returns to the shop after a health scare. JR gets information about Lily. Phor questions his career as a tattoo artist. Kat questions her life in LA. Charmaine's career takes priority over Neek. Don blows up after hearing the crew bully Cobra.

Season 4 of BLACK IN CREW: CHICAGO premiered on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. Can 9 Mag undergo a successful restructuring despite old betrayals, new rivalries and opposing views on the future? Highlights of the new season include: shop owner Ryan rebuilding the trust and morale among the crew; Van stepping up as a leader by opening a retail shop; Charmaine returning as shop manager while her career as a radio personality and entrepreneur continues to blossom; Don spending more time with his new baby Ashdon and wife Ashley to concentrate on fatherhood and repair his relationship after a social media scanda; Lily embracing the single life and providing for her mother and sisters after her father's passing; newly engaged Danielle is looking to the future, but trouble may already brewing ahead of her impending nuptials; and Phor questioning his role in the 9 Mag rebrand and focusing on his music by touring the country with the support of his entrepreneur girlfriend Nikki.

Season 5 of BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO premiered on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on VH1. This season, as new artists emerge and familiar faces return, the crew strives to salvage the true identity of 9Mag. Ryan reclaims his throne as the shop's boss and Chicago's tattoo kingpin. He is also finally putting himself first professionally and personally after recently becoming single. Van is still wearing his 9Mag tattoo with pride and refuses to be excluded from the team. Charmaine tries to navigate life after Loyal Ink, but misses the excitement of the old crew. Don is repairing his marriage and stepping up as a leader in the shop. After making strides in his music career, Phor is hopeful about the future of 9Mag. Lily has a renewed focus on her work, but won't tolerate disloyalty. In the season opener, "9MAG is Forever," Ryan returns to run the shop with a new team and a fresh vision. Don, Char and Van try to move on from the hurt Ryan caused them. Phor is caught in the middle of his feuding tattoo family. Tempers flare when Ryan hands out a long overdue apology. After a three-month break, BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO returned with new episodes on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. In the mid-season premiere, "Don't Come for Queen Latifah," Ryan's all new 9Mag shop is open for business with a fresh talent line up. Van takes over the old shop by marking his territory with a new set of rules. Phor is back from hiatus and learns that not everyone has access to Ryan's new kingdom.

BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO returned for its sixth season on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 from 8-10pm ET/PT on VH1. In Season 6, there's a massive shakeup as a new tattoo shop blows into the Windy City, threatening to take 9MAG's spot at the top. With the help of renowned British tattoo artist Jessica Simpson, Charmaine reveals she's opening a female-owned shop, Second City Ink, for true Chicago natives who have struggled through the system and know how to work a tattoo gun. The next generation of artists are here to make their mark, and Ryan can't sleep on these newcomers -- they mean business. Plus, the stakes are high for Ryan as he enters therapy after realizing he's been using his shop to avoid dealing with the death of his sister. With the help of his brothers Don and Phor, Ryan is determined to keep his circle tight, and continue to develop his relationship with his son while co-parenting with Rachel. Phor is making his mental health a priority and using his platform to spread the word about his experiences, helping Ryan deal with his personal struggles along the way. Don is focused on growing his acting career, but his wife's health scare may become a major distraction for him and his family. Newcomer and internationally famed tattoo artist Jessica is ready to ink her place on the American tattoo scene as she brings her talents from London to Chicago. After nearly 4.5-month break, BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO returned with new episodes on Monday, July 6, 2020 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. In the summer premiere, "Chicago Ain't That Big," a romantic video of Ryan and Rachel vacationing in Mexico shows up on social media, and a jilted Kitty bares her claws. Former Chicago Bull Eddy Curry gets a memorial tattoo. 2nd City Ink hosts an open call to expand the team.

Season 7 of BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO premiered on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. After being forced to shut down the 9MAG shop for 3 months, Ryan is back and business is thriving - he's already contemplating an expansion. Through therapy, he continues to uncover why certain choices he makes tend to heavily impact the personal relationships in his life, as he undertakes a process of self discovery in order to help mend previous decisions. Over the past year, Charmaine realizes that it is time for a change. She is ready to burst out the house and return to the Chicago scene by rebooting 2nd City Ink and reestablishing her professional relationships, all while having to struggle with loss within her family. Don is on a constant journey of spiritual, mental and physical growth with the launch of a new business at the top of his goals list. However, an unexpected health scare could potentially put it all at risk. Phor is proactively preparing for fatherhood and starting a family. While he is excited about welcoming his son into the world, he is also anxious about the idea of co-parenting. During the lockdown, Miss Kitty returned to Washington, D.C. to be closer to family but is now ready to come back to Chicago and finally help 2nd City Ink realize its full potential as one of Chicago's top tattoo shops. In the season opener, "Ready to Reclaim Our Time," as the darkness of the pandemic recedes, the crew of Black Ink Chicago looks to the future while being forced to face the past. Business at 9MAG has never been better, even though Ryan's life is in disarray, while Charmaine has a new baby and new job.

On Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT, VH1 premiered the second half of Season 7. The new episodes follow the crew as they usher in a new era of the Chicago franchise and are learning how to navigate their altered landscape, in hopes of reaching increased heights of success. With an expanded crew back in the home of 9MAG, the team is positioned and ready for the next level and will either adapt or falter under the pressure. Ryan is hitting the reset button, severing old ties and bringing new opportunities. After years of self-improvement, he is entertaining the idea of finding love again. Ryan is focused on the expansion of 9MAG and the elevation of his brand. However, in an unexpected turn, he is forced to make an unthinkable decision. Don is an entrepreneur, budding actor, renowned bodybuilder, and a family man, who has reached a whole new level of success. As the journey towards fame and fortune continues, he will have to work to balance his time-consuming business ventures and his family responsibilities. Phor is experiencing the challenges of co-parenting as a new father. He believes his days of finding true love are ahead of him and he is exploring his options, while still grinding away in the music scene and tapping into new business ventures. Miss Kitty is making the best of her time in Chicago by pursuing some new goals, with a project in London while doubling down on her tattoo apprenticeship in the states. After bringing home the victory for the Chi-town team in the Tri-City Tattoo Battle, Draya is reconsidering leaving Chicago and open to joining 9MAG, under Ryan's leadership. Forever in search of belonging, she discovers she may have a potential sister, which leads her into a journey of finding a family she never knew about. Prince is taking his talents from 2nd City Ink to 9MAG and working hard to ensure this big move is a successful one, while guiding his son and his nephew towards the right path.
On Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT, VH1 premiered "Is This the End?," the Season 7 finale of BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO. Ryan continues to struggle with the business, leaving 9MAG at a crossroads. Prince and Draya handle family obligations. Kitty has new plans for her future. Don and Ashley deal with the fallout of their marriage counseling. Phor prepares to leave Chicago.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Big Fish Entertainment


  • 9 Mag Ink - Chicago, Illinois USA - Map It!
  • Second City Ink (Seasons 6 & 7) - Chicago, Illinois USA