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Black Ink Crew

Black Ink Crew

  • Premiered: 
    January 7, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: VH1
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Workplace
  • Tags: tattoo

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Plot Synopsis

BLACK INK CREW is a reality series that follows the employees working at Black Ink, a black-owned and operated tattoo shop on 113th and Lennox, right in the heart of NYC's Harlem. Black Ink is more than just a tattoo shop to the people who work there, it's family. Plus, the shop's become a magnet for hip-hop stars and athletes. The crew includes: Ceaser, the owner and boss, who, despite having a big heart, everyone loves to hate because of his cocky and arrogant attitude; Dutchess, a Southern Belle from North Carolina, who is the newest tattoo artist -- and the only female artist -- in the shop; O'Sh!t, Ceaser's friend, prodigy and rival, who is the other male tattoo artist in the shop and is sa oft-spoken, sensitive -- and self-proclaimed -- ladies man; Alex, a little firecracker of Dominica decent, who works the front desk of Black Ink and gets the appointments on the books; Sassy, who keeps things running smoothly by taking appointments, being the peacemaker at the shop, or planning an event at the shop; Puma, the shop's PR guy, who has a tendency to party too hard but has a big personality that pulls clients of all types through the doors; Walt, one of the shop's unofficial shop managers, who opens the shop, cleans the shop, takes pictures at parties, deals with clients, and more; Teddy, Ceaser's cousin, who considers himself the watchdog of the shop and helps keep Cease's arrogance at bay; and Abra Cadabra.

BLACK INK CREW returned for its second season on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:30pm ET/PT, with a season opener that featured: O'Sh!t visiting court, bringing his baby mamas together for a family gathering that ends in broken tables and broken promises; Ceaser and Puma's 15-year friendship coming to an end; Dutchess and Cease getting matching King and Queen tattoos, but later questioning whether their relationship's strong enough to withstand success; and Alex emerging at a party, reuniting with some surprising members of the crew. After a three-month break, BLACK INK CREW returned with new Season 2 episodes on Monday, March 31, 2014 at 9:30pm ET/PT on VH1. Picking up from the winter finale, the cast is back home after Puma's nuptials in Jamaica. Now in their natural environment, situations continue to unravel as Ceasar and Dutchess' relationship crumbles and O'Sh*t's legal troubles leave him in personal turmoil. While Puma deals with the stresses of being a newlywed and father, he and Sassy must also manage Ink 124, their new shop. With new personalities entering the picture -- like Sky joining the Black Ink staff as its new receptionist -- and new problems arising, the bond between this group of friends is tested.

On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT, VH1 premiered the third season of BLACK INK CREW. In the new season, Ceaser, Dutchess, Puma, Sassy, O'Sh*t, Sky, Ted and Walt are ready to overcome their differences and move on stronger than ever, but the past has a way of providing a serious reality check. As Ceaser focuses on expanding the Black Ink brand and renovating the shop, O'Sh*t has an open trial looming in the distance and another new baby on the way. Dutchess is focusing on herself after her break up with Ceaser by creating amazing tattoos and growing her reputation in the modeling world. Puma and Sassy continue to work to build rival tattoo shop, Ink 124. Ted, Walt and Sky bring their signature shenanigans to the shop. Plus, Black Ink welcomes a new apprentice, Donna, and while it's never easy to be the new girl, she quickly proves she isn't afraid to speak her mind and get her ink on. When a Mixxxy party takes a turn for the worse, the crew finds themselves in a dangerous feud that could put an end to the Black Ink world forever. On Monday, August 24, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT, VH1 broadcast the Season 3 summer premiere of BLACK INK CREW, as the series returned with eight new episodes and a reunion special to close out its third season. Picking up right after the fight at the fashion show, Puma begins to realize his actions that night will have dramatic consequences. Dutchess contemplates a move back down to North Carolina, to put her focus on family life and her engagement to Ceaser, but Ceaser struggles with the idea of leaving New York. Meanwhile, Sky confronts a past decision that has been tormenting her for years on end. As the crew handles business, Donna strives to gain recognition for her artistry by challenging Ceaser, causing a rift within the group.

Season 4 of BLACK INK CREW premiered on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on VH1. In the new season, shop owner Ceaser contemplates opening a new shop on 125th Street to further expand his Harlem reign of the Black Ink brand. His legacy is in the city where he's striving for moguldom, but his heart is with his long distance fiancee Dutchess, who's working to open a shop of her own in North Carolina. She's determined to start her tattoo art empire -- but will she be able to cut ties with Black Ink for good? And will Ceaser continue to pursue his professional goals or will his heart lead the way? O'Sh**t works hard to maintain his sobriety and stay on the straight and narrow. But when Kathie solicits the court for child support, his inner demons creep back, causing him to fall off the wagon. Meanwhile, Sky finally gets the Brazilian butt lift she's been obsessing about for years but her hope to begin life anew ultimately fades as serious issues from her past become impossible to ignore. Ted now finds himself second in charge and takes his newfound responsibility seriously -- sometimes to a fault. Black Ink's apprentice, Donna is eager to hold her own and become a bonafide tattoo artist, until a shocking hook-up on an all-girls trip to Miami derails her ambitions and the tension between her and the crew spirals out of control. When the mother of his kids takes a job in another city, Walt unexpectedly finds himself stepping up his daddy duties. When placed in a position to have to explain the birds and the bees, this new level of responsibility might prove to be more than he was ready for. This season, the shop also adds a striking new artist named Melody who brings a very interesting following of clients and vitality with her. After overcoming the struggles of a bi-racial childhood as well as a checkered past of her own, Melody might be the catalyst to a more enlightened and renewed energy in the shop. Ceaser's greatest rival and ex-Black Ink employee Puma is positioning himself as fierce competition after opening his new tattoo shop, "Art2Ink". New to the Art2Ink team are close friends and talented tattoo artists Naeem and Phoenix, who each have well-known reputations and families to support. But when a shocking shooting occurs at the shop, Puma struggles to hold onto his family as well as his new talent.

Season 6 of BLACK INK CREW premiered on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on VH1. In the season opener, "Ceaser A.D. (After Dutchess)," the 113th shop is in shambles when a single Ceaser becomes more interested in chasing women. Donna receives a threatening phone call. Black Ink Atlanta's anniversary party turns into chaos. Dutchess delivers an explosive low blow to Sky.

The seventh season of BLACK INK CREW premiered on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 9-11pm ET/PT on VH1. After six years of inking their place in the New York tattoo scene, this season follows the crew as they set their sights on the future to grow their empires and families. In the new season, Black Ink's head honcho, Ceaser, continues his reign as the tattoo king of New York while also opening the doors to his fourth shop in the Big Easy. The New Orleans hub is an upscale 24-hour tattoo parlor, bar and restaurant that is bound to become a scene staple. Sky is more committed than ever to her newfound relationship with her son, Des, which she's balancing along with the launch of the new shop. After their sex tape scandal, Donna and Alex are tighter than ever as they work to build a substantial relationship. Young Bae begins her journey to U.S. citizenship and welcomes her first bundle of joy. Walt's path to sobriety is tested when he heads to New Orleans and is tempted by the party scene. O Sh*t cooks up solo plans as he voices frustrations with the New York shop. Melody, now a mother, hopes to connect with her family after finally embracing her biracial identity. In the two-hour season opener, "Ain't No Block Party Like a Harlem Block Party," Ceaser expands his Black Ink Empire by opening up a shop in New Orleans. Rapper Desiigner stops by for a tattoo. Bae goes into premature labor. Donna catches Alex in a compromising position. Sky's son drops shocking news. After a three-month break, BLACK INK CREW returned with new episodes on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on VH1, immediately following a five-hour marathon (3:50-9pm) of encore episodes. In the spring premiere, "While On Duty, You Can Get Booty," Sky is confronted by a dangerous man from her past. Alex is rushed to the emergency room. Ceaser chaperones his daughter's date. Everyone panics when an unknown assailant commits a shocking act of violence against the shop.

On Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT, VH1 premiered the eighth season of BLACK INK CREW. It's a new era as Ceaser goes back to the shop's roots, with Puma returning as now co-owner of the 113th shop. Will the two be able to get through their past and grow together? And will the past regime collide with the new one, as former faces come to light? In the season opener, "Cease Is 50," after mending fences with Puma, Cease makes him a partner at 113th only to have his decision be questioned during his 40th birthday celebration. Bae struggles to keep her marriage together, while Sky confronts her son Des, about his recent behavior. After a three-month break, BLACK INK CREW returned with new episodes on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. The crew is still reeling from the disastrous prom when Ceaser's most prized possession turns up missing; he launches an investigation into the potential thief which leads to some surprising decisions.

Season 9 of BLACK INK CREW premiered on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. The new season highlights the crew emerging from isolation and adapting to their new normal, as they work to elevate themselves, their community and strive to be better than ever before at their new flagship shop in Brooklyn. With the 113th shop permanently closed, Ceaser took a step back to refocus on his personal life while he prepares to bring his Black Ink family back together post lockdown. After accepting Alex's proposal, Donna feels ready to take command of her own future - questioning her commitment to continuing to work at Black Ink or even to tattoo at all. Ted is ready to reveal more of himself and spent much of the pandemic growing his flourishing relationship with his wife, along with investing in his second love - music. For Tatti the impact of the pandemic has served as a time of focus, commitment and determination for her as she becomes a first time homeowner.Although Walt's relationship with Jess is thriving, his bond and connection with his Black Ink crew seems to have become more divided. Young Bae is balancing work and being a single mother with her son Niko, along with using her voice to speak out about the violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Island community. With the new demands placed on the flagship store, Ceaser expects Puma to show up in person and be the boss, but life during the pandemic adds to the strain on his mental health. 113th top tattoo artists Rokmatic and Krystal will take on more clients as the Brooklyn shop expands. Newcomer Spyder is a cover up tattoo specialist and the face of the Brooklyn shop. He is a super vocal ally to Ceaser and goes up against anyone who crosses the Black Ink boss. After an eight-month break, BLACK INK CREW returned with new episodes on Monday, February 21, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. In the mid-season premiere, "Vax the Block," the team is back from their Atlanta residency but quickly find out -- what happens in Atlanta doesn't stay in Atlanta. Cease and the crew throw a block party to help stop the spread of Covid in the community by offering free tattoos for vaccines.

The tenth season of BLACK INK CREW premiered on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. For the past nine seasons, the Black Ink Crew New York crew has proven that they can weather any storm. As the group enters this new season ready to celebrate their wins and leave their losses behind, they will end up facing a reckoning that they never saw coming and must learn how to adjust to a post-Ceaser world. Black Ink Crew New York cast this season: Puma, who enters his 40s while splitting his time as a successful entrepreneur and being a husband to his wife, Quani, and father to his two children; Young Bae, who reconnects with herself as a mother, woman and artist; Ted, who begins to focus on his life outside of Black Ink and starts to unapologetically put himself and his own needs first; Tatti, who decides to take a step down to an apprentice position, hoping that it will help level up her art skills; newly single Alex, who is feeling reborn and is no longer letting anyone nor anything hold him back on his life journey; and Spyder, who is back better than ever after dealing with an extreme health scare last year.
After a 5-month break, BLACK INK CREW returned with new episodes on Monday, May 15, 2023 at 8pm ET/PT on VH1. In this new episode, "Six Weeks Later," the fate of the Black Ink movement is in doubt as Puma works to bring the crew back together. Puma sends out a cryptic text, forcing the OGs to make the biggest decision of their lives


Other Titles

  • Also known as Black Ink Crew: New York

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Big Fish Entertainment


  • Black Ink Gallery - Harlem, New York USA - Map It!
  • Ink 124 - Harlem, New York USA - Map It!