Words and images by: Juan Carrillo

Life is all about experiences. Yes, getting seeded stuff from brands is dope and something I will never take for granted, but when brands give you the opportunity to go out and do something, visit somewhere, live life and explore the world, that’s what really gets me excited. That being said, a few weeks back we got an email from Puma extending an exclusive invite to KicksonFire to attend and cover Puma ambassador’s Yo Gotti’s Birthday Bash concert in Memphis, Tennessee. Without hesitation we replied with an astounding yes.

While in Memphis, we got to explore the city, eat their food, attend the star-studded concert and we even got to have a one-on-one interview with Yo Gotti where we got to ask him questions about what his experience has been like as a Puma ambassador, being a part of the the latest Puma GV and T7 campaign and what his thoughts were on the resurgence of Puma Basketball. Today we provide you with that recap of the entire trip.


The hotel we stayed at was located right in the heart of Downtown Memphis and just a few blocks away from Beale Street, aka “America’s Most Iconic Street”, aka Home of the Blues. It goes without saying that there was plenty to do during our stay in the city of Memphis. Known for their delicious BBQ, you know I had to visit at least one spot per day during my stay in Memphis. BBQ ribs, pulled pork, fried chicken, mac and cheese, it was all fire. How good was it? As you can see in the image above, I forgot to take pictures of the food before I ate it, smh.

Beale Street was also amazing. I walked the block on a Tuesday night at around 10 pm and there were hundred of people dancing, singing and drinking all over the street. There was live music on every corner which really set the mood. Simply put, the overall good vibes of the night was exactly what I pictured Memphis to be like in my mind. I can only imagine what Beale Street is like on a Friday or Saturday night.


The night before the concert we drove down to the FedEx Forum (the location of the concert) for our interview session with Yo Gotti. Although Yo Gotti has a very chill and mellow composure, you could tell still tell that his responses are real and organic.

Yo Gotti Wearing The Puma GV Special

Kicks On Fire: You’ve been a Puma Brand ambassador since late last year. What made you decide to sign with Puma?

Yo Gotti: I’m a fan of Puma, some of my favorite types of clothes to wear are sweatsuits and tracksuits you know what I mean and I think Puma has some super dope sweatsuits and tracksuits.

 

Kicks On Fire: Puma really likes your creative energy, in what ways have you contributed to the product design of the brand?

Yo Gotti: I’m just a hustler you know what I’m saying, and I think Puma represents hustling. For as long as they’ve been in the game, they keep evolving and keep growing. To me that’s a mirror of what I represent and stand for. 

 

Kicks On Fire: What are you currently working with Puma on right now?

Yo Gotti: We just did a shoot for the GV Special which was super dope. I woke up in my hotel today and I looked out the window and saw a huge billboard of me wearing the new GV Special and T7 tracksuit I was like “oh sh*t”. 

 

Kicks On Fire: What was it like being featured on the GV Special and T7 tracksuit campaign?

Yo Gotti: I mean Puma is like a family. I love collaborating on organic things you know what I mean. For myself, I’m not one to do anything that’s not true to me or natural to me or organic to me. I think that’s one of the best things of my relationship with Puma how they work, how I work, it’s like an organic fit. That’s the most valuable thing to me.

Kicks On Fire: Puma has began reintegrating a lot of their classic models from their archives back into their lineup. If you had to choose one classic Puma model as your favorite, which one would it be?

Yo Gotti: Oh it’s the GV right now. GV is like the OGs you know what I’m saying they’re like the OGs. That’s what I rocking with right now. I like the comfortable ones too, *looks at the Thunder Spectras on me feet and points at them* those are fly! I like the new Puma models too, like the ones with the soft knit uppers (evoKNIT), those are super comfortable and fly. 

 

Kicks On Fire: After a 20 year hiatus, Puma Basketball is back and they’ve wasted no time in making some noise. They’ve signed Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter Jr, honored Walt Frazier by giving him a lifetime contract, they also recently unveiled their new basketball shoe, the Puma Clyde Court Disrupt. With all that’s going on with Puma Basketball, what excites you the most?

Yo Gotti: I mean like i said when you love the brand and you see it grow to different areas, I mean as a hustler you just look at those moves and say “oh that’s what’s up!”, you know what I mean, and they’re bringing more to the game! Even them joints you got on *points at my Thunder Spectras* five years ago you didn’t really see that style. Puma is ahead of the game when it comes to fashion. They’re on point with what’s happening and what’s coming, maybe even ahead! I just think Puma is on fire right now.


Speaking of the GV Special and T7 tracksuit, this was waiting for me at my hotel room. Puma hooked it up with a T7 tracksuit customized with my name on it and two pairs of the GV Special in both Black and White (also with my name on it). Although it was far too hot to wear the T7 in Memphis, I’ll definitely be rocking this back home. Thank you Puma!



We concluded our trip by attending the Yo Gotti and Friends Birthday Bash concert on Thursday night. Gotti sold out the arena for the second year in a row. The concert saw an impressive list of guest artists — from Meek Mill to T.I., Tank to Juvenile — even Penny Hardaway (Memphis born and raised) made a cameo on stage. The concert was fun but what really impressed me was the amount of love the city of Memphis has for Yo Gotti and vice versa. That was really dope to see.

This Memphis trip was definitely an experience I was not expecting, which made it that much more special. Big shout out to Puma and Yo Gotti for the invite, we’re definitely looking forward to the next one.

 

 

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