Black Ink Crew: Chicago is back for its seventh season, and in the season premiere, we catch up with the crew from Chi-Town.
New Views On Life
Despite the tone in the show, the pandemic is still going on. We just wanted to make that perfectly clear here. But, keeping with the vibes of the show, Black Ink Crew: Chicago returns in its full glory following a pandemic shortened season that saw Ryan shutter his tattoo shop and get dismissed by Rachel when he asked to quarantine with her and the kids. He seems to be in a better space now, despite some drama that we will touch on in a bit.
Charmaine had it extremely rough during the pandemic. She lost her mom BUT welcomed her daughter during the height of the pandemic when hospitals were a scary place to be. She is also now expecting a second child.
To celebrate making it through a rough year, the crew came together to celebrate Ryan’s birthday. We learned that Don and Ashley are no longer beefing anymore, and he now owns a gym. Don is also a professional bodybuilder and boasts that he is in the best shape of his life, or at least he thinks he is.
Don’s brother, Phor, is expecting a child, and yes, this one is his baby. But everything is not all rosy between Don and his new boo thang that he met while working on music together.
Miss Kitty spent some D.C. and, during the pandemic, used that time to work on makeup brush line. Charmaine wastes no time in telling Miss Kitty that she is ready to open 2nd City Ink back up after putting the shop on the back burner to focus on her family. Charmaine tells Miss Kitty she wants Kitty to be the shop’s brand manager, and she gladly accepts the job.
The boys, Ryan, Don, and Phor, huddle up to discuss Ryan’s drama. If you haven’t heard, the 9MAG boss was accused of smashing his ex-best friend Anthony’s baby mama’s cakes to smithereens. Ryan did admit to doing the deed ruining his once close friendship with Anthony, but it made him realize he was not in a good space mentally.
Back To Business
Chicago is open, open, and that means so is 9MAG and business looks like it is booming for Ryan. He’s got a full shop of talented tattoo artists, and he is pleased about that. Ryan also wants to get more female tattoo artists on his staff.
Meanwhile, 2nd City Ink is back to square one. Before the pandemic, Charmaine and the shop’s other manager Jess fell out with each other. Charmaine also lost a crew member when Fly Tatted tragically passed away, Prince who still works at the shop, is still taking the death of his friend pretty hard. To honor Fly Tatted, a beautiful mural celebrating him, now lives in the shop.
Miss Kitty walks into the still-empty shop on her brand manager vibe and is greeted by Prince, tattooing a client. Kitty is not pleased with the condition of the shop and knows that there is a lot of work to be done. Like Ryan, she also wants more female artists on 2nd City Ink’s staff to further push the female empowerment vibe being that shop is owned by a Black woman.
Health Is Wealth
Season 7 also tackles health issues. Don boasted that he was in the best shape of his life, but that isn’t entirely the case following a health scare. While working out, Don thought he was experiencing what he believed to be a heart attack. He experienced muscle spasms all over his body, found it hard to breathe, and was rushed to the hospital.
While laid up in the hospital, Don believes he’s having some heart issues, but an MRI doesn’t reveal anything alarming. Ryan and Phor visit Don and say that he looked better than they thought and that the doctors are still trying to figure out what’s wrong with him. After initially thinking he was having heart problems, Don learns he had a virus that was causing his body to attack itself. He is eventually discharged and sent home. We’re glad to see that he is okay.
Charmaine is also dealing with some health issues when it comes to her dad. She is already on edge after losing her mother tragically, so now she is terrified after she learns her dad is battling cancer is about to start his chemotherapy treatment. Charmaine is still doing her radio show from home decides to bring her dad to Chicago to take care of him and help him get the treatment he needs.
During a conversation with Ryan, Charmaine reveals that her dad hid his health issues from her, so she has no idea how long he has been sick.
Baby Mama Drama
It’s time for Phr and Nina’s baby shower, and it’s pretty clear there is some tension in the air between the “couple.” Ryan asks Don what the status is between Phor and Nina? Don says they’re in a relationship but isn’t quite sure how happy the couple is.
Later on in the episode, the two brothers link up to have a conversation. Phor reveals to Don that he and Nina are having issues because they want different things out of the relationship. Phor wants to make sure that before his child comes into the world, he and Nina’s relationship is not toxic. Phor also wants them to have more reasons than just having a child to keep them together. Don just wants his brother to be a good dad at the end of the day, no matter what happens between Phor and Nina.
Ryan Confronts Anthony
Ryan and Charmaine link up at the beach, and the tattoo shop owner shares even more details about his drama with his former friend Anthony. Ryan reveals that Anthony’s son discovered text messages between Ryan and his mother and shared the discovery with his dad.
After all of the drama with Anthony hit social media, Ryan has been speaking with his therapist a lot lately. During his latest session, he reveals the situation with Anthony has been stressing him out and decides it’s time to speak with his ex-best friend. Ryan has no desire to fix the friendship either. Ryan reveals that Anthony spoke with his ex, Rachel, and told her what Ryan did out of revenge. Rachel sided with Anthony and decided not to let him see his kids calling Ryan a psychopath for his behavior. Despite all of that, Ryan feels it’s time the two of them talk because he gets nothing out of being mad at Anthony.
Before linking up with Anthony, we see Ryan getting a tattoo from one of his artists. His new ink is a touching tribute to his mom, and she loves it.
Finally, it’s time for the moment we have been waiting to see the conversation between Anthony and Ryan. The conversation was a bit of a struggle as both men couldn’t properly convey their feelings. Ryan was BIG MAD because Anthony ruined his co-parenting situation with Rachel by telling her what happened. Anthony claimed he only spoke with her to confide in her. Ryan feels it was done to get back at him.
Anthony feels betrayed because he loved Ryan. He even made him the godfather of his child and said he would have given up his life to save Ryan.
Ryan tells Anthony sleeping with baby mama wasn’t about him or trying to hurt him and that his issues have nothing to do with him. Anthony struggles to understand why this all happened in the first place. Bruh, we are too.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger. Hopefully, we will get more clarity on this situation during next week’s episode because we walked away even more confused.
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Photo: Courtesy VH1 / ViacomCBS