Vudu Dahl is one of the most intriguing characters on VH1’s Black Ink Crew: Compton. As the show revealed, though, her life has been anything but picture perfect. Dahl was raised in a household that she compared to a cult — with 12 younger siblings, her mother, and her stepfather.
Dahl explains in a Black Ink Crew promo that her family life was very strict. She was limited in what she could watch on TV and the music she could listen to, she rarely interacted with other children, and she was expected to stay at home and get married at a young age.
“Growing up I definitely felt like I was in a cult. It was just very organized, very strict. Yeah, it was very strange,” she says, adding that it was “military-style.”
Dahl’s hyper-religious family prayed a lot and even took money from her when she had her first full-time job. She describes asking her mother about getting her own place, but being told she should be married first. “There was no way out,” Dahl laments.
Eventually, she opted to live with her biological father, which actually added even more difficulty to her already tragic life.
Vudu Dahl doesn't speak to her family
Vudu Dahl was 18 when she made the decision to live with her biological father, which was her way out of the cult-like family she grew up in with her mom and step-dad. Right off the bat, she expected things to be uncomfortable, as she had only met her biological dad one time and says she “didn’t know him very well.”
Needless to say, not long after Dahl moved in with her father, the trouble began.
In the same promo clip where she described her mother’s family, she explains that her father had a lot of anger that he focused on her. “We just did not have a very good relationship,” Dahl says of her biological dad, explaining that he kicked her out after she had stayed with him for just three months.
Dahl theorized that her dad was still bitter that her mother left him and vented his anger onto her. “He took it out on me,” she says.
She went on to explain that she no longer speaks to her father or to anyone in her family. “I’d say that my relationship with my family is non-existent,” she told VH1 in the behind-the-scenes interview.
The pressure of Dahl’s past and her estrangement from her family eventually caught up with her, but tattoos and art have been her only solace.
Vudu Dahl struggled with drinking and drugs
Vudu Dahl of Black Ink Crew: Compton is an immensely talented artist who says tattoos have been therapeutic for her, but she still struggled with drugs and alcohol in the wake of her long-time family trauma.
“I started using drugs, I became an alcoholic, but a functional one,” Dahl says over the extensive Black Ink Crew interview clip that shows her guzzling a handle of Hennessy. She acknowledges that she was close to hitting rock bottom for awhile. “My life was spiraling out of control,” Dahl says.
In the midst of such a sad life, it’s refreshing to know that Dahl was able to turn to music, art, and tattoos to give her solace. She said the first time she saw someone with tattoos, it gave her inspiration. “These people are living their full, authentic selves,” Dahl told VH1, adding that “It was the complete opposite of how I grew up.”
She likens getting tattoos to putting her anger all over her body. “Getting tattoos was my therapy,” Dahl said.
She added, “There was no other way for me. I had no choice but to get into tattoos.”
Fortunately, it seems like the escape to the world of tattoos — and the subsequent fame and exposure that her participation on Black Ink Crew: Compton has brought her — is helping Vudu Dahl put her tragic past in the rearview mirror.
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