VH1’s hit show “Black Ink Crew New York” recently returned for its ninth season, which means that Ceaser Emanuel’s lifelong best friend, Puma Robinson, is back on our screens once more. Taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cast of “Black Ink Crew New York” were faced with some very relatable challenges throughout filming. The lockdowns hit particularly close to home for Puma, who, as Ceasar recently told Nicki Swift, “didn’t want to come out the house, which I could understand because he has a family and kids he got to protect.”
Despite the difficulties the stars of the long-running series may have had during filming, Puma is excited for “Black Ink Crew New York” fans to catch up on all of the drama and the “awesome moments” in new episodes. Chatting exclusively with Nicki Swift, Puma dished about the state of his marriage, what fans can expect from new episodes of the show, his friendship with Ceaser, and parenting in the reality TV spotlight.
Puma's friendship with Ceaser is still going strong
The new season of “Black Ink Crew New York” is back. What can fans expect from new episodes?
The energy feels different. Energy feels much higher. Everything feels great, especially out there the whole pandemic and just being around people again. So it feels good.
Was it difficult filming the show in the pandemic? Did you have to take lots of precautions?
Yeah, I mean, I was maybe one of the most worried people because I have children. We’ve been following a lot of protocols, a lot of testing, so everything’s been all right.
Have you been managing to get back to work okay?
Yeah, yeah, honestly I’m grateful to be back to work. There’s a lot of people who are not fortunate, so. … I have two children, so yes it definitely was a little crazy.
You needed a break?
Yeah little one, little one.
You grew up with Black Ink’s Ceasar Emanuel, and you’ve been both through so much together. What’s it been like living out that friendship on TV?
It’s a gift and a curse because with friendships, sometimes you have ups and downs. When your downs are in front of everybody, everybody has their opinions. So it has its moments, but definitely has its ups because people get to see people grow up together and going through the ups and downs, and how to get over them.
And still remain friends after everything.
Puma's kids are growing up in the spotlight
Is it difficult to handle the drama that you have to go through on the show?
Not really, no. Life is full of it, so…
You’re just taking it in your stride.
Yeah take it as it rolls.
You’re raising two kids, Tamia and Zaiden, with your wife, Quani. What’s it like juggling family life with being on TV and being a tattoo artist?
Oh man, that’s definitely a little hard, especially as my daughter’s getting older, and she’s having more of an understanding of it. So yeah, it has its moments, but at the same time, I get to show them something totally different. So it’s definitely cool, because I didn’t grow up like that. So it’s really awesome to be able to give them things and be able to let them see the stuff that they see.
So do you think your daughter’s going to want to be on reality TV when she grows up as well?
No. My daughter’s more on the art side of it. She’s the artist, yeah. She’s a total artist. Now, my son, I don’t know. He’s only two, but he’ll probably be more of the personality.
Marriage Boot Camp was a really positive experience for Puma and his wife
You also starred on “Marriage Boot Camp” with your wife Quani. What was that whole experience like?
That was actually a really, really good experience. It actually does help. When people see your relationship on television, they put you on a pedestal and think everything is always perfect when everybody has relationship problems. No relationship is perfect, and the counselors that were there really were helpful. Some of the stuff they were saying actually does work, you know? So yeah, it was actually good. In all honesty, my relationship has been better since, no lie.
Also, it’s relatable for fans to watch what you’re going through.
Yeah like I said, nobody’s relationship is perfect, and sometimes it’s good for people to see other people going through stuff, especially on a television screen because everybody always thinks everything is so perfect, and it’s far from.
Is there anything else you’d like viewers to know this season of “Black Ink Crew New York”?
I mean, I just want them to keep watching and enjoy it, you know what I’m saying? We’re going to have definitely a lot of awesome moments. Of course there’s still some drama filled moments, but we had a really good time this season. I’m hoping that everybody gets to enjoy it. Just keep a lookout @puma213 on all social media platforms, ART 2 INK STUDIO, Black Ink Studios, and just outside, man. Summer’s coming. We’re just out here just enjoying life, so [we] want everybody to do the same.
You can catch all of the drama on “Black Ink Crew New York” Season 9 on Monday nights on VH1.
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