Charmaine Walker is a fan favorite on Black Ink Crew: Chicago. The Lousiana native is beloved for her spunky personality and transition from corporate America to becoming a reality star, radio host and family woman.
Despite her turnt-up persona, Walker wants fans to know that she’s quite astute. She’s the only child of Southern-Midwestern parents who spoiled their baby girl along the way. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t have to earn the royal treatment.
For Walker, life before Black Ink included her obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from one of the top HBCUs in the country and working in advertising and sales.
“I’m Black and I’m proud and that’s always been my aura,” the Howard University graduate said to Shadow and Act in a recent interview. “After I graduated from Howard, I moved to Miami to turn up for like six months. That’s how long my parents gave me. And then I ended up moving to Chicago because I got a job selling radio. I was in ad sales [and] an account executive selling radio.”
She left radio sales and took a job with Groupon. While there, she began mingling with her future Black Ink: Chicago crew. As always, the life of the party balanced nights drinking Hennessy at the tattoo shop with managing projects at work during her 9-5.
Ryan Henry, the owner of the tattoo shop, was approached about doing a reality show. Walker says she paid it no mind at first. But when producers called her and informed her that Henry recommended her to be part of the cast, she took the chance.
Walker says the first few seasons filming the show showed the cast's dynamic as fun friends and business associates. But Walker was viewed as a party girl and unfortunately, a homewrecker. Her rendezvous with her co-star Don Brumfield landed her in hot trouble when Brumfield’s girlfriend caught wind of the relationship.
Walker was even confronted by Brumfield’s girlfriend, leading to an altercation between the two women. Walker insists the situation was not what it seemed.
“I felt really misunderstood because I felt like I was being labeled something falsely because I felt like I was telling the truth,” she said. “I wasn’t a homewrecker. It was a whole different type of situation that I did not know about. In real life, I’m educated and I’m twerking because I’m from New Orleans. I’m free-spirited and I’m fun.”
Brumfield later apologized and the two were able to move forward cordially as friends. When asked how she was able to forgive Brumfield for the messiness, she says it’s all because of growth.
“Don did apologize for lying back then and we are past that,” Walker added. “We’ve grown so much...It’s all love from over here and when we’re all together, there’s no hate. We’ve gone through our things for sure but that’s not what we live by.”
Walker kept her head held high and focused on the positive. She says the perception of her on the show began to change once she landed a gig in radio. Her media ad sales position in radio came full circle when she was hired as an on-air personality at WGCI in Chicago.
She plans to have longevity in radio that she hopes will transition into other entertainment arenas. She cites La La Anthony as her inspiration. Walker proved herself and is now a full-time host on weekdays at midday.
“I’ve grown in real life and the show has captured that,” Walker continued. “It’s a great partnership between the three [herself, VH1, and WGCI]. You get to show me at work, interviewing celebrities, and just my life.”
In addition to having her own tattoo shop now, Walker is excited to still be part of the cast but has much more on her plate. Her company Beymoss provides natural solutions to health with multiple sea moss-infused products for energy, glowing skin, and overall, to give client’s bodies the nutrients they need. Lizzo and Princess Love are just two of her clients.
She’s also committed to wellness, documenting her vegetarian and workout journey for her fans. Her motivation comes from her late mother, whom she says had health problems since Walker was a child. The happy wife and mother of one also wants to expand her family and be around for as long as she can.
With everything positive going on in her life, Walker has no plans on engaging in perpetuating physical violence on television.
“I’m not going to be in any physical altercations but I am still going to talk my talk and someone else can talk their talk too,” Walker said. “I feel like that’s what reality TV is always supposed to have been and it’s gone too far with the physical aspect of it...we need to go back to talking [things out]. And I’m not saying calling someone out of their name and being disrespectful verbally. But, wherever it goes, it goes.”
Black Ink Crew: Chicago Confessions airs Monday, April 12 at 9 pm EST on VH1.
Watch the full interview with Walker below where discusses her relationship with her parents, Black Ink Crew putting a positive spin on Chicago, motherhood and marriage. She also details how she got into the sea moss industry and what’s next for her in business: