JJ’88 turned to music to maintain hope after being sentenced to 40 years to life plus life when he was 15 years old. In prison he worked to heal and transform himself, and supported others to do the same. His story garnered global attention after being featured in This is Life with Lisa Ling. In 2015, JJ’88 became an organizer and facilitator with the Success Stories Program, the feminist program for incarcerated men chronicled in the CNN documentary, “The Feminist on Cell Block Y.” From 2015-2019, he was a lead organizer in Soledad Prison with the organization, Initiate Justice, helping lead efforts to pass Proposition 57 and Bill AB965 in California.
In 2015 he met his creative partner and producer, Richie Reseda, who had recently started a label, Question Culture, inside of Soledad Prison. Within eight months they produced and recorded an album together (still unreleased). Since then ‘88 has fought for freedom, made music, and built Question Culture into an independent, worker-owned media company alongside his collaborators.
JJ ’88 is now free and living his dreams making bluesy hip-hop and R&B that reaches for grace, love, and accountability.