"Welcome to 9MAG." This simple phrase uttered by Ryan at the end of Season 4 was a powerful one. After being estranged from the tattoo shop he built, 9MAG was back in its rightful home…but not without some deep wounds. The broken family that had once all lived under the same roof was no more. For Ryan Henry, reclaiming the space was only the first step in rebuilding the 9MAG brand.
Despite the drama that split the original 9MAG team in half, Ryan is ready to move forward -- even if it means putting his personal life on hold while he rebuilds the shop into a bigger and better one. Now separated from Rachel, Ryan’s priority is 9MAG, and even though there’s a new team in place, he can’t deny that something is missing. In order to attain true success, 9MAG must be built from the ground up. However, what will always lie beneath are its roots, and Ryan will have to accept that he didn’t plant this seed alone.
Over the years, Charmaine has turned her bubbly, outspoken persona as 9MAG’s shop manager into a brand in and of itself. As on-air personality at Chicago’s number one urban radio station WGCI, TV host for The Jam’s "All Things Charmaine" segment, the owner of an apron line and the host of a cooking show on YouTube, Charmaine has outgrown her duties of a tattoo shop manager -- and all this while she’s happily with her boo Neek.
However, the glow-up Charmaine is experiencing in her life isn’t as impactful if she can’t share it with her 9MAG family -- and that is where she is conflicted. As a partner in the now-defunct Loyal Ink, Charmaine chose a side that left a serious dent in her relationship with Ryan.
Now that enough time has passed and Loyal Ink is no longer, Charmaine is ready to bury the hatchet with Ryan, if he’ll allow it. Her professional success doesn’t mean as much if she can’t enjoy it with the original family who helped her get to this level. Plus, Charmaine believes she can do wonders as a "9MAG Concierge," and she'll put the bad history behind her just to see the brand back on top. Will Charmaine be able to keep her cool while managing all the new personalities in the shop?
As 9MAG’s resident piercer, Don’s troubles never seem to truly be behind him. Whether it’s his rocky relationship with his wife Ashley or his run-ins with the law, Don has always had his 9MAG family to help him through. However, being caught in the middle of Ryan and Van’s standoff wasn’t easy, and Don’s relationship with the 9MAG brand was also tainted. Despite his role in Loyal Ink, Don and Ryan always seemed to maintain their respect for each other.
As far as his personal life, Don and Ashley have rekindled their relationship and are now committed to seeing their family move on from the struggles they have faced in the past. Don and Ashley have even found a way to include his daughter Kinleigh in their family. Don is spending more time at home and less time in the streets, especially with his court-ordered curfew.
For Don, life has probably never been better. Now that Don is ready to come back to 9MAG, how will Ashley perceive his relationships with all the new girls at the shop? Will Don’s former image as a bad boy and womanizer come back to haunt him?
Phor is at a personal crossroads in his life. After establishing himself as both a reputable artist in both the tattoo world and the music game, Phor found himself in a sticky situation when a video leaked that cost him his relationship with his girlfriend Nikki. Now trying to pick up the pieces, Phor is trying to move on and focus his energy back on his music career, while deciding to stand behind Ryan and reclaim his position at 9MAG.
With his popular single "Chi-Town" becoming an anthem of sorts for his native city, Phor is still juggling his touring schedule with his role at 9MAG. Will he finally be forced to deal with it all before he can truly reach his full potential?
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 trying to build his own Loyal Ink, Van finds himself almost completely detached from 9MAG. Now that Loyal Ink is done, Van wants back into the brand he says he helped create.
Though his relationship with Ryan has gotten progressively worse, Van can’t seem to move on without 9MAG. While his estranged business relationship and friendship with Ryan is currently on the outs, Van knows the one thing that is constant is his attachment to the 9MAG brand. It will always be a part of him, and he is willing to give his relationship with Ryan one last try for 9MAG’s sake -- even if it means things will get ugly first. The shop doesn’t exist without its foundation, and Van is coming back to 9MAG, whether Ryan likes it or not.
In addition to trying to figure out his place in 9MAG, Van also finds himself at a crossroads with his longtime girlfriend Jenn, who is ready to take things to the next level, especially once she finds out what’s being going on behind her back. For Van, everything is about to come to a head.
Now a 9MAG veteran herself, Lily has made quite a name for herself as the feisty, opinionated Latina amongst the crew who has she cemented herself as a full-fledged member of the group. However, her fiery romance with fellow tattoo artist JR Diaz is still at the top of the list of things she just can’t get over. Struggling to leave that toxic relationship in the past, Lily continues to push forward by focusing on her tattoo career.
So why can’t Lily just get along with her fellow 9MAG colleagues? Maybe it has something to do with being haunted by the memory of her father’s murder, which has forced Lily to take on the role of primary provider for her mother and sisters. There is a constant battle within Lily, and until she comes to terms with her own personal demons, she may not fully live up to her potential.
Drawing inspiration from her family and friends, Lily has dedicated herself to becoming a skilled and driven tattoo artist in the industry. What will it take for Lily to leave the past behind her and attain that goal?
As Don’s wife and the mother of his two sons DJ and Ashdon, Ashley is focused on keeping her family together, despite Don’s past transgressions. Managing to invest more time into self-love and self-care, Ashley loves hard and is committed to her marriage and family.
Ashley’s happiness, however, is contingent on Don’s behavior, and she may not be able to handle another set of challenges to their relationship.
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.
Last season, Bella Tatted made her 9MAG debut as the shop’s newest assistant. A bit quirky and sometimes not able to hold it together, one thing is certain about Bella: She is the life of the party! She goes both ways and isn’t afraid to show her affection for anyone, Lily included. Her energy injects new fun into 9MAG at a time when everyone else seems to be walking on eggshells around Ryan.
Though it seems 9MAG’s original team is battling to reclaim their positions at 9MAG, Bella is comfortable in her skin as the assistant. For the sake of her adorable daughter Lia, who still has not met her father, Bella has to keep a roof over her head and the lights on.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.