Forget Chicago, Kat is one of the most sought-after tattoo artists in the whole country. A founding artist of 9MAG, her work quickly stood out, but some felt she was more focused on her own career than the shop itself. And when things got messy between her and Ryan, she ultimately decided to bounce and take her talents to L.A.
After spending years under Ryan and his relentless management style, Charmaine broke away to start 2nd City Ink. She's a constant hustler who places a high value on family and loyalty. But recently, a falling-out with her business partner, the loss of her mother, the birth of her daughter during the pandemic and her dad's cancer diagnosis upended Charmaine's world and left her shop in jeopardy.
A founding member of 9MAG, Van is now on the outs with the crew. Never feeling like he got enough credit for his role in helping build Ryan's empire, Van eventually left to start Loyal Ink with several other crew members. He later came back into the fold, but Ryan cut him loose. Now he's focused on being a dad and building up his fashion line.
Phor is experiencing challenges as a new father in a co-parenting situationship. Even though he has made it abundantly clear to everyone else he isn't in a relationship with Nina, it's unclear whether or not he plainly communicates that information to her. Still, Phor believes his days of finding true love are ahead of him, and he is exploring his options. As far as professionally, Phor is still grinding away in the music scene and exploring new ventures, one of which is opening a line of sex toys under the brand name Phorplay. Clearly, Phor thinks he can mix business and pleasure -- and plans to do so.
As 9MAG's first receptionist and Charmaine's cousin, Danielle was a core member of the original 9MAG crew. But that didn't always make for happy times. When tensions began to grow between her and Ryan, and the rest of the crew started to fracture, Danielle had to decide whether she wanted to stay a part of the drama or focus on her sometimes-rocky relationship with Terrence.
Though he's been a fixture at 9MAG from day one, Don's personal life is far from constant. He's been through many ups and downs over the years, including past infidelities that threatened his home life. Now, after a health scare that put him in the hospital, Don is on a journey of spiritual, mental and physical growth, which includes branching out from the shop and opening his own gym.
Ryan hopes to reframe his personal and professional image after a tumultuous start to the season when his dirty laundry was aired out -- and his professional relationship with Charmaine was tested. Now, Ryan hits the reset button, which will sever old ties and bring new opportunities. After years of unhealthy back-and-forth with former partner Rachel and lots of therapy, Ryan entertains the idea of finding love once again. Apart from wanting to hit the dating scene, he is focused on the expansion of 9MAG and the elevation of his brand. As he continues to remove the toxicity of his past, he understands only one person stands in his way of glory: himself.
Never one to bite her tongue, Lily is known for her feistiness among other members of the crew. A driven tattoo artist who is working hard to make a name for herself, Lily is also trying to put past drama behind her, including a fiery and dysfunctional relationship with Junior, and the murder of her father.
Cobra is a tattoo artist in pursuit of self-love and confidence, even as she battles powerful 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. But after Hurricane Harvey left her family unhoused, Cobra found herself thrust into the role of sole provider.
A gifted and driven artist native to Chicago, Junior is a force to be reckoned with. He used tattooing to escape from a long family history of gang involvement. But sometimes Junior's brash attitude and reckless sense of humor can cause friction between him and other employees at 9MAG, as demonstrated by the epic street brawl he helped instigate in Jamaica.
Ashley has been with Don ever since they met in college, but staying with him hasn't always been easy. Don's history of infidelity has tested their relationship numerous times, but Ashley has fought hard to keep their family together. However, after a major health scare, she began contemplating a move to Texas and ending things with Don once and for all.
Neek is Charmaine's husband and the father of her child. Neek keeps Charmaine grounded and helps her keep the drama in check. He's always been there for her and really stepped up when Charmaine's mother passed away. However, he and Charmaine did ruffle a few feathers when they decided to elope.
Nikki was seemingly the perfect girlfriend for Phor. The salon owner and weave entrepreneur was a devoted partner to him for years and worked hard to support his music career. But Phor's rising star and sex symbol status caused tension in their relationship, which ultimately ended when his infidelity came to light.