Black Ink Crew's Ceaser Reveals Why Community Is So Important To Him - Exclusive

"Black Ink Crew: New York'"s latest episodes see the return of the tattoo parlor's crew after their stint in Atlanta, Georgia. And while their relationships might be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — and the pressures it has placed on everyone — the crew values community perhaps more than ever. This is especially true for Ceaser Emanuel, head honcho of both the tattoo shop and the reality series.

The truth about "Black Ink Crew" is that it's a series for the people. Each episode highlights raw, unfiltered artistic talent alongside real, unadulterated human relationships, emotions, and passions. This can lead to messy moments, but it can also lead to beautiful ones. Emanuel is used to this, as his personal life has been displayed to the world on the series. Still, being used to something doesn't always make it ideal.

Ultimately, what Emanuel cares about most is uplifting not only those in his shop but also those around him. After all, we're nothing if those around us haven't built us up, right? Recently, Nicki Swift sat down to chat with Emanuel ahead of "Black Ink Crew's" return to television, and he revealed not only what fans can expect in the new episodes but also why he almost didn't return post-hiatus and why community is so important to him.

Ceaser's community efforts have included COVID vaccine awareness

For Ceaser Emanuel and the rest of "Black Ink Crew: New York"'s cast, nurturing the community in which you operate is a big priority. They give you space, time, and the ability to grow your talents and business, so why not give back when opportunities present themselves? "You know we have the social injustice and all, and basically awareness for the [COVID-19] vaccine, like we're doing a lot of things for our community," Emanuel told us of the new episodes of "Black Ink Crew." 

"What a lot of people have to understand is "Black Ink" is basically based in the community," Emanuel added. "Most of the shops are based in Black, mostly what people would call 'the hood' communities." Explaining why giving back to this specific community is so important to him, he continued, "It's something that I strive to do because I could have sat there and put my shops in like malls or high-end places. But to me, I like showing my people and showing people that I grew up with and grew up like me, that there's opportunities besides just the regular normal playing basketball or being a rapper or just being something of [an] entertainment stature."

Emanuel is proud that he's stuck to his roots. "...Like think about 10 years [later]. I'm still with my community," he said. In fact, he likely wishes more celebrities remembered where they came from. "There's not too many celebrities 10 years strong on television, still saying, going back to that community, feeding their community, doing stuff with their community, talking to the community, talking to the people in school." Just another reason to respect Ceaser Emanuel so much.

"Black Ink Crew: New York" airs Mondays on VH1 at 8 pm ET/7 pm C.