‘Black Ink Crew Chicago’: Recap of explosive season premiere

Left to right: Don, Charmaine, Van, Rachel, Ryan, Danielle, Kat, and Phor (Photo Credit: VH1)

“Black Ink Crew Chicago” returned to VH1 with an explosive season premiere.

Last season secrets were revealed, loyalties were tested, and relationships were broken. With Ryan and Kat’s lakehouse escapades confirmed in front of Ryan’s girlfriend Rachel, all hell broke loose. The result? Shop temptress Katrina was fired from 9Mag. The unpopular decision was met with pushback and disdain from the other 9Mag employees. Ryan lost more than Kat when he made his decision. He lost the respect of his employees, people who he at one point considered his family. The season ended with the future of 9Mag being uncertain. Season four picked up with the same uncertainty.

Despite the drama, the Chi-Town favorites started this season off on a high note. Each member of the 9Mag family seems to be prospering in their own worlds.

A few main cast members are highlighted to kick off the premiere. Wild child and New Orleans native Charmaine is thriving as a weekend radio personality on Chicago’s hip-hop station WGCI. Tattoo artist Phor is continuing to push his rap career, landing a spot in the lineup for one of Chicago’s biggest concerts alongside Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Yo Gotti and G Herbo. Ryan Henry, the founder of 9Mag and shop owner, is seemingly removed from the 9Mag shop after the Cabo fiasco.  He hasn’t been coming into work and is pretty set on the narrative that the whole 9Mag family betrayed him.

The feeling of betrayal pushes Ryan to act rashly. He not only removes the 9Mag sign from outside the building but also comes inside the shop to clear out all his things, vandalizing it in the process. Charmaine and Phor arrive confused and are in shock when they walk in to see the damage done. The first thought was that they had been robbed. Signage on the wall was blacked out, tattoo stations had been trashed, and there were holes in the wall that the employees believed to be the result of bullets. When realizing that all the other booths were trashed, but Ryan’s was simply cleared out, the crew agreed that their boss had gone off the hinges.

After coming to the conclusion that someone needed to confront Ryan, everyone volunteered Ryan’s longtime friend Van to hash things out on their behalf. The two men met up, and through hurt and anger, they argued about past events and the irrevocable damage that had been caused. Ryan made it clear that he no longer wanted any association with the crew after he felt as though they turned their backs on him. He dropped the bomb on Van that he would not be renewing the shop’s lease and that they had one week left to say their goodbyes to their jobs and the place that they once called home.

Amid all the bad news coming from 9Mag, shop piercer Don is dealing with his own issues. After a sexually explicit video of him and another woman was uploaded to his Snapchat, he and his wife Ashley will possibly be done for good.

Thankfully, things are going well for most of the other employees because the shop they once held dear is now in shambles. Let’s see if this “Black Ink Crew” house will survive the storm this season.

See what’s in store this season with the super trailer for Season 4.

Khaja Mapp

Actress. Writer. Host. Trying to bring love and light to your life with a whole lot of black girl magic!

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