As promised, Black Ink Crew: New York Season 9 has come through with a variety of twists and turns. The crew has dealt with relationship drama, squabbles in the shop, and cameos from former employees — we’re looking at you Sassy!
Since the Black Ink Crew: New York cast stands as the OG series, it’s quite common for tattoo artists from other cities to make appearances on the show. After all, Ceaser makes it a point to try and maintain lasting relationships with tattoo artists that have been featured on the franchise.
That said, it’s no surprise that former Black Ink Crew: Chicago star, Van Johnson, is making an appearance in Season 9. In an exclusive clip obtained by Distractify ahead of the April 4, 2022 episode, the tattoo artist is spilling the tea on why he said goodbye to the Chicago crew.
Van Johnson left 'Black Ink Crew: Chicago' after bumping heads with Ryan Henry.
Fans of Black Ink Crew: Chicago are likely familiar with the name Van Johnson. Van, who is known as one of the OG members of the tattoo crew 9Mag, was a permanent fixture on the show from Season 1 to 6. However, things quickly went left between Van and shop owner, Ryan Henry.
On previous seasons of Black Ink Crew: Chicago, Van accused Ryan of being “manipulative” and even spoke about Ryan allowing his notoriety to get to his head and push people that were there for him to the side.
In the exclusive clip, Van visited the Black Ink Crew: Brooklyn flagship location to check on the team. And after inquiring about Walt and Donna, Ted gave Van the rundown about Walt stealing from the shop and Donna causing tension with the crew. This led to Ted asking about Van’s relationship with the 9Mag team.
“So that relationship over there with them is over with 1000 percent?” Ted asks Van.
“Sometimes when you’re moving forward in life, you ain’t got no time to take steps back [sic],” Van says to Ted. “ So, it is what it is.”
Van goes on to explain in his confessional the history of 9Mag and why he’s no longer part of the crew.
“So, I’m like one of the fathers of and OG’s of 9Mag,” Van says. “Six years ago when we created that company, it was a good thing. After all the bulls--t and six years later, I decided that I had enough and it was time to continue my life.”
For folks that have been MIA, Ryan and Van nearly came to blows on several occasions due to how Ryan was handling things at the shop. While the two men did try and meet up to resolve their issues, too much drama had occurred.
Van Johnson is now partners with Ceaser Emanuel and runs Black Ink Crew: Houston.
It’s been clear as day that Van has the persona and work ethic of a boss. Even though things didn’t quite pan out the way he wanted to in Chicago, Van has moved on to a better situation.
In the exclusive clip, Van shared that he “still wanted to be a tattoo artist in his own way” and he “wanted to be a boss.” So, he decided to make the decision to move on and start Black Ink Crew: Houston with Ceaser.
Things appear to be going really well with Van and Ceaser’s partnership. Van has not only expanded Houston’s clientele, but he’s also been able to tattoo the likes of Houston’s hip-hop royalty.
They say everything happens for a reason and Van seems to be happy in Houston with Ceaser as a partner. So, we’ll continue to wish them both nothing but the best.
Catch new episodes of Black Ink Crew: New York Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on VH1.