Black Ink Crew Chicago: Anything Goes as Long as They’re Making Money | Lifestyle | KenyaBuzz
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Black Ink Crew Chicago: Anything Goes as Long as They’re Making Money

03 Feb 2016 | By Wangechi Maina

Black Ink Crew Chicago Review

Black Ink Crew Chicago is a spin-off of Black Ink Crew, an American reality TV show that follows the professional and personal lives of the staff at an African American owned and operated tattoo shop in Harlem, New York. The show focuses on the daily operations and staff drama at Chicago tattoo shop 9Mag.

The violence that Chicago is known for is highlighted and displayed on the show. 9Mag owner Ryan shares the tragic story of how his sister Nova and niece Ava’s deaths were the foundation of the tattoo shop. Through this story, of how he turned a heart-breaking situation into motivational drive, the violence isn’t glorified and portrays the city in a different light than what is broadly perceived.

Joining Ryan in the male cast of Black Ink Crew Chicago are fellow tattoo artists Phor and Van; and Phor’s brother and assistant Don. Rounding up the group are 9Mag’s sole female tattoo artist Kat, manager Charmaine; and Charmaine’s cousin and receptionist Danielle. Ryan’s ex-girlfriend Rachel and Don’s baby mama Ashley make regular appearances.

Like any reality show worth its salt, there’s drama in Chicago: a lot of drama and action but most of it from the crew’s personal lives and very little, tattoo work related. 

Black Ink Crew Chicago Review

Ryan co-parents two sons with Rachel. Except the second child isn’t biologically his but Rachel’s and a ‘well known signed American musical artiste’s’ who allegedly wanted nothing to do with the boy. Ryan wants to get back with Rachel but she’s busy launching her own business that might eventually take her and their kids out of State.

Phor, also a rapper, is pursuing his music on the side as well as an on-going flirtation with Kat. Van could be mistaken for a bodyguard; if anyone tries it with the crew, Van is ready to attack. Don is a former basket baller whose journey to the NBA was cut short by his hard partying and drinking. He’s trying to make it work with the mother of his two year-old son but also flirting with Charmaine. 

Alongside the other ladies of 9Mag, Charmaine is a party girl who’s ready to party whenever, however. It’s a wonder that they manage to get their individuals job done while flirting and playing around. 

In a nutshell, Black Ink Crew Chicago is dominated by drinking, twerking, flirting, cheating and fighting- in what could be to most- an offensive and stereotypical black context. To seasoned reality viewers, it's just one more ratchet reality show to indulge in. As with all ‘reality shows’, Black Ink Crew Chicago shouldn’t be watched by impressionable viewers who might think what they’re seeing is admirable.

Images: VH1

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