Recently, the Rapfest had the pleasure of being apart of the “Black Ink Crew: New York” Season 8 premiere watch party and got the chance to chop it up with tattoo artist, Mike AC. It’s clear that the writer, poet, and TV personality brings an incredibly positive vibe to any space he’s in. While enjoying the event he cheerfully and joyously spoke about the show, his cast-mates and the importance of love today.
Mike Is An Artist Through and Through
Wearing a fly pinstripe tailored suit without a shirt, Mike was looking like a work of art, but don’t forget who he is. Making it clear that he’s more than just eye candy, Mike talks about his craft of tattooing.
“I love to do black and gray realism, that’s my shit. Reality TV is what I got casted to do, but what Imma always do and what I’ve been doing is – one, I’m an artist through and through. But I’m tattoo artist, I’m a poet, and at the end of the day I’m trying to teach our people how to love each other.”
Spread Love

Mike says how “we need to love each other better” as he speaks extensively about love in this interview. He said while growing up there was only one way of sexuality and how one chooses to identify. He continues saying that his Black Ink family is loving of him and there are a lot of mind expanding conversations on the way.

“What I’m doing on this show is going to be a lot different from what they used to. We’re going to a different level with this.” – Mike from Black Ink Crew

LGBTQIA Spreads Love Throughout Reality TV

It’s inspiring to have such visibility for same-sex relationships on mainstream platforms such as VH1. Featuring personalities like Mike who push the culture forward for the LGBTQIA community with words of encouragement, knowledge, and most of all – love. Back in 2017, “Black Ink Crew” featured LGBT cast member Sassy who ran into her ex, Tanyelle during the Harlem crew’s trip to Las Vegas. The two genuinely highlighted the LGBT community in a good light on such an impressionable platform. Overjoyed to see each other, Sassy and Tanyelle share a kiss. During the episode, Sassy confessed: “My whole insides literally melt and get all gooey.”

LGBTQIA Community Steps Into The Spotlight

Reality TV continues its legacy of visibility with others in the same space as the LGBTQIA community has been stepping into the spotlight more. Network television and the entertainment industry have been highlighting a variety of sexual orientations and gender expressions for sometime now.

“Black Ink” isn’t the only show on the network to feature LGBT cast members. Dice and Po of “La La’s Full Court Life” openly discuss their love for women on their show. Love and Hip Hop New York  also featured Hip-Hop’s first ever transgender woman rapper, Sidney Starr. VH1’s “Rupaul Drag Race” continues to maintain an outstanding run on the network after leaving Freeform. In addition to, lesbian R&B singer Monifah, who lives her best life proudly on TV One’s “R&B Divas,” Cliff Vmir On BET with his show “Wig Out,” MTV’s latest season of “Are You The One?” and more.

The Industry

Being apart of the industry can be an obstacle for some when it comes to the coming out process. The industry’s lingering stigma sometimes makes it tough to cope with. Nowadays the industry is more open to the idea and welcoming the people of the LGBTQIA community.

Wrapping up, Mike told the interviewers and the fans tuning in to “Love all people baby, love all people,” before hurrying off to his next appearance. Take a look at the interview below.

Interviewers: Zoe Alejandro & Abby Michelson

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