They say that it’s lonely at the top, and no one knows this better than Ryan, the hottest tattoo artist in Chicago -- possibly in the entire country. After working and sacrificing to build a business and a home for his 9MAG family, Ryan finds himself standing alone with only his high school sweetheart Rachel fully by his side.
With the shop fractured because of truths coming to light and the constant questioning of his authority, Ryan’s dream project 9MAG is being torn apart from within. In the wake of these recent betrayals, Ryan has committed himself to reinventing his brand with new ideologies and new hires. Supported by the love and guidance of Rachel, Ryan is slowly accepting the fact that the 9MAG he once knew is gone forever, but the “new” 9MAG he is building will be even better.
Charmaine has always been one of the most vocal employees of 9MAG, which occasionally puts her at odds with others; however, this vocal nature has since become one of her greatest strengths as she has solidified herself as one of the hottest on-air personalities at WGCI radio station. Charmaine is also exploring her entrepreneurial skills with an apron line and a cooking show on YouTube.
Back at 9MAG, where she still works as the shop’s manager, Charmaine has become painfully aware that things are no longer the same. The tension has grown among the shop’s resident artists, which has created a clear divide between them. Charmaine, like everyone else, finds herself having to choose a side, but in her case, the choice is an easy one: Charmaine is not Team Ryan.
When she’s not charming the city of Chicago over the airwaves or being the voice of growing dissent among artists at the shop, Charmaine puts her time into her relationship with Neek, but that relationship has become somewhat of a question mark while she awaits his return from a job in Africa.
For the moment, it seems that Don has truly put the troubles of his past behind him. His clientele has grown some since becoming 9MAG’s resident piercer.
Outside of 9MAG, Don and Ashley recently celebrated the birth of their new baby boy Ashdon. Don is spending more time at home and less time in the streets. Don and Ashley have even found a way to include his daughter Kinleigh in their family.
For Don, life has probably never been better. Unfortunately, his former image as a bad boy and womanizer may be coming back to haunt him, as some people think "once a cheater, always a cheater." With that, everything in Don’s life hangs in the balance, as someone may be using popular opinion, along with Don’s past mistakes, to cash in on his future.
Phor has established himself as one of the most truly gifted artists in both the tattoo world and the music game. Since then, his popularity has skyrocketed to the point he’s on numerous tours, tattooing and performing in cities all across the country.
Phor, like the rest of the 9MAG team, finds himself having to choose a side within this mess. Instead, he finds escape in his music and his relationship with Nikki.
After reaching newfound acclaim with his popular single “Chi-Town,” which has become an anthem of sorts for his native city, Phor is now facing one of the most important decisions of his career. Will Phor stand by and watch 9MAG crumble, will he fight to save this broken family or will he decide to walk away from it all and concentrate solely on his music career?
Still one of the most skilled and respected tattoo artists in Chicago, Van is a kind and generous father to his teenage daughter Briyanna. After defending what he believes to be the truth about who built 9MAG and defending his sister Kat to the bitter end, Van finds himself almost completely detached from 9MAG.
Van poured all of his frustrations into making one of his dreams come true by opening his own clothing shop, Chicagorilla. Van sees this budding brand as the legacy he will one day pass on to his daughter and a way to secure financial stability for his family.
As for 9MAG, Van is convinced the future of the shop lies in returning to the glory days of their past when the idea of “family,” not business, was their foundation. Unfortunately, this is in direct contradiction to Ryan’s vision of expansion and taking the shop in a new direction and to new heights. As the shop becomes divided by the views of two of its leaders, the future of 9MAG is anything but certain.
Now a sophomore in the game, Lily kicked off her first year at 9MAG with a bang, making a name for herself as the feisty, opinionated Latina among the crew. Not only has Lily cemented herself as a full-fledged member of the group, but she began a fiery romance with fellow tattoo artist JR Diaz. Since then, their kindling love has been on a roller coaster of ups and downs, which ultimately ended in a burst of flames when Lily found out JR was playing her from the start.
Struggling to leave her toxic relationship in the past, Lily continues to push forward by focusing on her tattoo career. Drawing inspiration from her family and friends, Lily has dedicated herself to becoming the most skilled and driven tattoo artist in the industry.
Still reminiscing about memories of her father’s death, Lily remains close to her family and has taken on the role of primary provider for her mother and sisters. With money on her mind and a heavy heart to guide her, will Lily make her way to the top, or will obstacles stand in her way of providing for her family?
Danielle is busier than ever as she prepares for her dream wedding with her high school sweetheart Terrence. Danielle and Terrence have seen their fair share of ups and downs over the years, but none of that matters anymore -- at least not to Danielle, who still blushes every time she looks at her engagement ring.
Planning her wedding has kept Danielle so busy that she has taken some time off from the shop, which could be a good thing considering all the recent changes at 9MAG. It’s no secret Ryan and Danielle’s issues have grown over the last few years, and, given the current climate at the shop, Danielle’s sabbatical could not have come at a better time.
As Danielle returns to a fractured shop, she is forced to ask herself if she should stay and help the team rebuild or return to planning her fairy-tale wedding with her Prince Charming Terrence.
Having just welcomed a baby boy, Ashdon, Ashley is adjusting to life as a mother of two. She finally has the life she has always imagined, which includes investing more time in self-love and self-care.
Ashley is the happiest she has been in a while, until Don slips into his old ways. Life suddenly presents another set of challenges that neither Don nor Ashley are prepared to deal with. Will Ashley stick around to allow Don to mend her shattered heart and their broken family, or is it too late for their marriage?
In pursuit of a new life based on self-love and confidence, Cobra is finding it increasingly difficult to battle her inner demons. Fueled by her father’s dying words to never give up on her dreams, Cobra is ready to prove to 9MAG and the world that she is the real deal.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which left her family homeless and helpless, Cobra now finds herself thrust into the role of sole provider for most of her family. A vicious and meticulous artist, Cobra has never backed down from anyone or anything. With the deck stacked against her in numerous ways, Cobra is determined to show everyone that she will not be defeated.
Young, stunningly beautiful and armed with a mind for business, and the attitude to match, Nikki is perfect for the artistic Phor.
Nikki, who opened a hair salon last year, has since expanded her business by working from home as well as the shop and designing her own collection of wigs and weaves.
Although a devoted supporter of Phor and his music, will Phor’s increasing status as a sex symbol shake Nikki’s faith in their developing relationship? Or will Nikki take drastic action to cement herself as the one true queen to Chicago’s emerging hip-hop king?
Hailing from Chicago and deeply respected in the tattoo game, JR Diaz is a force to be reckoned with. Elevating himself through art and away from a family history of gang involvement, JR is as real as it gets. A gifted and driven artist, who is loyal to a fault and a bit of the class clown, JR has worked hard to establish himself as one of the top Latin tattoo artists in the country.
Some would argue one of JR’s biggest accomplishments to date is the respect he has earned as the first accepted new member of 9MAG. Even though JR has been accepted by the 9MAG team, he finds his loyalty tested and his own position challenged when he rides hard for his boss Ryan.
Neek is Charmaine’s boyfriend and better half. Currently working in Africa, Neek is confident, secure and has a secret formula to handling Charmaine’s antics and the rest of the 9MAG crew.
Kat started off as the resident little sister of 9MAG but has since moved to Los Angeles. Due to her endless talents and gorgeous features, Kat is at the top of her game and has quickly become one of the most sought-after female tattoo artists. Kat is taking advantage of her success and seizing every opportunity to build her own brand as Kat Tat, an artist separate from 9MAG.
Since the events at the lake house last year, half of the 9MAG team still blames Ryan for the way he handled things with Kat. As a result, Kat has moved back to Los Angeles in an effort to put the events of the past year behind her.