SummaryChecking in at six feet one inches and over 350 pounds, not to mention covered in tattoos, it's impossible to ignore Jason "Jelly Roll' DeFord in a room. And that's before his booming country-twanged voice enters the conversation. For the 27-year-old Jelly, a nickname he picked up from his mother and kept to honor an incarcerated friend, humor has always been a way to cope with the struggle he would go through in life. Growing up in the rougher areas of Nashville, TN, particularly the Southside city known as Antioch, Jelly got an early taste for street life and fast cash.
Cativated by the gritty rhymes of local legends such as Pistol, Quanie Cash, Haystak, and Kool Daddy Fresh, it wasn't long before the music industry would mirror Jelly Roll's personal lie. Catching his first case at age 14, Jelly would endure an ongoing cycle of incarceration until 2009 which would include intent to distrubute cocaine charges and multiple probation violations. Continuing to soak up the sounds of southern artists such as UGK, 8Ball & MJG, Three 6 Mafia, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall, it was during these particularly dark times that Jelly would turn to crafting his own rhymes as a therapeutic means to deal with his trials and tribulations.
In the summer of 2010, Jelly Roll's "Pop Another Pill" single with Memphis luminary Lil Wyte would go on to garner over 1 million Youtube views. This viral sensation led to the SNO group album Year Round, released on Hypnotize Minds in April 2011, a project produced by Oscar winners DJ Paul and Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia. Jelly continued his successful 2011 campaign by releasing Gambling On A Whiteboy 4 during the summer and combining his talents with Haystak for the successful Strictly Business joint-album in November. His unique combination of introspection, melody, and punchlines has struck a chord with an ever-growing nationwide fan base and continues to impress.
After releasing the widely popular mixtape Mid Grade Miracle: The Boston George Story in early 2012, Jelly Roll believes his upcoming album The Big Sal Story will be his best work yet.