So Aja, you ready? Yes. Yeah? All right. I’m coming. I’m a little nervous,
but we’re good. Well I don’t care. I’m coming.
I’m excited. And the pain begins. Hi, I’m Aja, and I’m here in
Harlem at the Black Ink studio. I’m about to get
tattooed by Bae, and she’s going to do
this glorious Yemaya tattoo on my left calf. Yemaya is this beautiful deity
from my practice of Ocha, which America knows as Santeria.
It’s just an homage to my roots. I’m really excited. Hey. Hi. How are you?
I’m Aja. Young. (Laughs). So nice to meet you. I know. I’m really excited
that you agreed to do my tattoo. I know, me too.
Look what I came up with. Oh my god. This is so nice. Isn’t it so nice? Yes. It’s very important to me because it’s a part
of my religious practice, and it also represents
feminism, motherhood- Mm-hmm (affirmative).
I know all about the motherhood. She’s skinny. Slim thick.
I love it. That’s how I’m trying to be. Wow. And it’s going to go on my
left calf, so this is perfect. It’s a starting piece
for a bigger piece. Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
This is perfect. I’m excited to do it,
you know I love doing tattoos. Let’s do it! We’re here! So I’ll put it
right here diagonal. All right I’m ready to tap.
So, Aja, are you ready? Yes. Yeah? All right. I’m coming. I’m a little nervous,
but we’re good. Well I don’t care. I’m coming!
I’m excited. All right. And the pain begins. Yas. So you were on the RuPaul show? Yeah. I watched it like, religiously. It’s a fun show. It really is fun to watch. With that being said, I’m
waiting for my own solo spinoff. Spinoff?
Yeah. Or just- You waiting,
or you working on it? Oh, I’m waiting for it, because
I don’t want to pay for it. So hi, I need a sponsor.
(Laughs). Right. Yas. I feel good. (Laughs). It doesn’t hurt as much
as I thought it would. Right? I’m light handed,
you know? Like a feather. Don’t think this is you.
It’s me! No, that’s true.
I know some people be like … Like stabbing with the needle. They be like … They’re like, oh my god. Right? What religion was this?
From where? I want to learn. It’s Yoruba. That was the tribal people
who practiced that. And what happened was when
the slave trade happened, they brought slaves
to the Americas but also to Cuba, to Brazil,
to all these places. The cultures kind of
mixed together because they were being forced into Catholicism
and Christianity. So they were basically trying
to preserved the religion, so they pretended
they were worshiping these Catholic saints,
and these Catholic deities, but they were really
worshiping their own gods. And then after some time
they started to basically
revive the practice, and found ways
to make it work here. When did you start? Oh, I was born
into the practice. Oh, this? Yeah. This is something
my family believes in. I think that
it’s really cool that we decided to do
the Yemaya tattoo today because last year,
I lost my god-mother. She passed from brain cancer,
and she had Yemaya crowned, and she was a really
big mother figure to me. So ironically enough,
Yemaya being the mother figure, and she was very much that. So I think it’s cool
to have a piece on my body that will also
remind me of her. I’m glad I’m part of this. Yeah. And I like that
you’re a mom, too. A mom doing my tattoo of a mom
for my motherly mom, mom, mom. It’s a lot of mommery. I didn’t think I was going
to be a mom, honestly. Really? I didn’t know I was going
to have kids. I feel like that’s when
it’s a blessing, though, when it just happens. Right. Are we almost there? Mm-hmm
(affirmative). I’m excited. Me too. Your tattoo
is coming out beautiful. I know you want
to show it off, show it off. I’m really excited to just
show it to anybody else
who is in my practice. My Ocha house is pretty big. They’re very supportive
of everything I do. They follow me
on all social media, and every time
I see them they’re like, “You were here,
and there, and there! And now you’re here!
We’re proud of you.” So I know they’ll really
appreciate seeing this tattoo. All right, we’re done. Yay. (Laughs).
You ready to take a look? Yes. Okay, I’m excited. Bam! Oh yes! Oh my god, look.
I love it, actually. It frames my leg
nice and well. People are going to see it
when I turn my foot back. It looks so nice! Go take a look closer. Yeah, I want to take
a closer look. I’m greedy. Oh, yes, it looks even …
Oh, wow! You captured so much detail
in such a small area. It’s really,
really beautiful. I wish I could put
my leg up to my face. Wait, wow, the shading
is so specific and precise. This looks way better
even than the sketch itself. Thank you. Wow. Holy …
The scales and everything. Honestly,
you did this so fast, I wouldn’t have known
that you did this much. Oh my god, thank you so much! Not a problem! Give me a big old hug.
Yay! Oh, my first black ink. Yas.