Black Ink Crew: Nessie Blaze and Vudu Dahl Join Compton Crew
Following the smash success of the original Black Ink Crew reality show based in New York City and the spin-off in Chicago, VH1 is bringing the franchise to the West Coast with the debut of Black Ink Crew Compton.
The series follows celebrity tattoo artist Danny “KP” Kirkpatrick as he builds a crew to open and run IAM Compton, the first tattoo studio in Compton. The shop features all-black artists and support staff.
Nessie Blaze is a tattoo artist, rapper, and mural painter who recently moved to the Los Angeles area from Philadelphia. Prior to tattooing and her career in music and art, Blaze was going to school and studying to be a doctor. But her creative energy had other plans for her.
“”Being a female tattoo artist in a male-dominated industry is everything,” says Blaze. “We have to work 10 times harder, go 10 times harder and be even better than the men at our jobs.”
In the tattoo world, Blaze specializes in black and grey portraits, floral pieces, and script. When she’s not tattooing, she’s hustling. She uses her artistic skills to paint colorful, street-art collages and write her own music.
“I really love tattooing and I’m honored when people come to me for the first time, especially if they’ve never been tattooed by a female before,” says Blaze. “It’s an honor honestly.”
Vudu Dahl joins Black Ink Crew Compton as KP’s apprentice on the debut season. Dahl is an openly bisexual artist who specializes in erotic art and tattoos that depict and explore sexuality.
She grew up in a religious cult commune located outside of Seattle and was sheltered from relationships and the outside world for the majority of her early life. When she’s not tattooing, Dahl works as an aspiring model. In video interviews, the rest of the Black Ink Crew Compton cast describes her as “free-spirited” and “wild.”
“I feel like as women, we’ve come so far to get recognized as the artists we are—to prove ourselves,” says Dahl. “I feel like it is a little more difficult especially if you are an attractive female. So you have to come that much harder and prove that you aren’t relying solely on your looks.”
Blaze and Dahl will join other tattoo artists Ink Drippin’ and Lemeir in creating body art in the studio, while manager Tim and shop receptionist Barbie keep things in line and running smoothly.
Black Ink Crew Compton airs Wednesdays on VH1 at 10 p.m (9 p.m. Central).