Harlem Rises kicked off on June 5 with its first award given to Puma of VH1’s Black Ink Crew. Puma isn’t just the party animal we see getting trippy with his friends at the tattoo shop. With hands in fashion and marketing, Puma is motivated to continue giving back to a place that’s given so much to him.
“I’m not from Harlem, but I’ve made a lot of my greatest accomplishments here. It's like Harlem adopted me,” said the Bronx native. “It feels amazing to be able to accept an award for doing something really good for the culture and the people.” The event was hosted at Harlem's own Bleu Violin and tequila, Riazul, alongside VIBE.
The turn up king hopes to continue to contribute something of value to the people of Harlem and beyond. “My inspiration is really the youth and the people. I was a kid that didn’t really have too much and to be able to give back is my motivation.”
Currently, Puma is working on a few business ventures and his clothing line IUFO. He doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon. “We’re out here just trying to make it work and give back to the culture,” he said.
Puma was surrounded by loving supporters including his mother, fiancé, daughter and Black Ink Crewmates, Sassy, Walter, Oh S*** and Teddy.
Photo Credit: Irelis Pimentel