LU: What does the name Rebels to Dons mean?
JJ: The way the name came about was very simple. It came out from vibes in music. I DJed for a long time, and I never lost my passion for music. Rebels to Dons means: “I’ve been struggling all my life, and I want to do better. I want to move forward. I’m a rebel now and I’m gonna be a don one day by doing better for myself. I’ve been through stages in life where I had my hard times and I did what I had to do but now I’m in a better place by staying positive. I’m about to be a don.”
When I look back on the hood where I come from, you’re not sure of who’s going to make it out or not. 2 ways to choose from. Follow or lead. Growing up around stubborn youths and young gangsters and guys who want that lifestyle, and among the positive people as well, and seeing the difference between the mindset, I felt I could do better. I felt I can make something out of knowing the streets. Rebels to Dons originated from seeing both ways of living in Trinidad, seeing how people are living and saying, “Damn, I hope when I get older I can live like that. I hope I can take care of my family, I hope that my mind will be full of happiness.”
Rebels is streetwear and “rebeling” clothing. The grungy, all black look: That’s Rebels. “We rebelling out here.” Is what we say Dons now is more [about] self realization as you get older. you’re taking care of yourself different, you’re dressing different. So we’re talking about suits, ties, button-down shirts.