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Dutchess Lattimore Talks ‘Black Ink Crew’ & Her On-Screen Fight With Co-Star Alex

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Image Courtesy VH1

Image Courtesy VH1

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Big Regg was at Room 960 this weekend with tattoo artist and reality TV star Dutchess Lattimore from Black Ink Crew. Dutchess called in to talk about how she came to be part of the popular VH1 reality series.

Black Ink Crew is becoming very popular, eclipsing even Love & Hip-Hop with each new episode Monday nights. Dutchess feels her show is much more organic in how it reveales its characters, making it an easy show to watch. “Love & Hip-Hop, for everybody it just blew them up the way they introduced the new characters,” she said. “The way we were introduced was an easy transition for people to get to know us.”

Dutchess is not only beautiful, but educated, graduating Cum Laude from North Carolina A&T with an Undergraduate degree in Marketing, and a Master’s in Management.  She picked up tattooing while in Grad School, and by the time she graduated she knew she had found her calling. “I got into tattooing while I was in Grad School, I just kind of fell in love with it,” Dutchess explained. “When I finished Grad School, I tried the job thing but my heart was stuck in tattooing.”

The New York tattoo artist is also dabbling into modelling, including a win at the Boston Tattoo Convention beauty pageant.  Whether it’s tattooing, TV or modelling, Dutchess believes inner and outer beauty are all part of the equation to make empowered females in today’s world. “Where I’m from in the country, all women are beautiful. They all individual models in my opinion, the way they carry themselves and the things they do… there’s a model in every woman,” she said, before adding that personality matter just as much as looks. “Especially with young girls growing up, you are only as beautiful as you act. Who you are on the outside, if you don’t act with that same sense of style, grace and poise, all of those looks can go down the drain.”

She got on VH1′s Black Ink Crew while working in the shop as a tattoo artist, although she admits she was hesitant to go on camera. “They just kinda of threw me into the mix of the show, now I’m a part of Black Ink the TV show,” she recalled. “At first, I didn’t want to be on the show, I just wanted to be working and doing tattoos. But the more and more the situation pushed itself, I just said go ahead and go with it.”

Dutchess’ confrontation with Alex, who works the front desk at Black Ink, is what caused most people to pay attention to her. And the tattoo artist did not have many kind words for her co-star… even saying Alex isn’t really a part of the Crew! “Alex is different, Alex don’t really work at Black Ink, she never really did work at Black Ink,” Dutchess explained. “She was just a face for TV. When you come in as part of a team, play your positon, because if you start doing all this extra stuff, somebody’s gonna [come] around and put you in your place. I was a friend to that girl, so for her to play the cards that she did, it was just shocking to me. I’m not the type to hold my water or bite my tongue– I’m gonna let it known how I feel.”

Dutchess believes more people need to express themselves, and to call out people like Alex who do something they shouldn’t. “That’s what’s wrong with the world right now. We’re so caught up on stereotypes and so caught up on what people think, we hold back the things that we really need to express, the things we’re really feeling,” she stated. “I’m just not one for that, I believe in self expression, I believe in people having their opinions– there’s no right or wrong, it’s just agreeable or disagreeable.”

Despite the show’s massive success, Dutchess and the Crew are not letting their newfound celebrity status go to their heads– they are still working day in, day out at the shop, always ready for the next client to walk through the door. “Me and Caesar, we’re constantly at Black Ink,” she said. “Anytime you wanna get tatt’ed, come through.”

Listen to the full interview here:


–Bill Sencio, Hot 93.7/ Hartford

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