IN BED WITH
Jelly Roll’s Tennessee roots run deep. Born Jason DeFord, his musical education started early. “I grew up really on Southern rap music, but my mother listened to oldies—a lot of MoTown, funk, old R&B. My Daddy listened to a lot of random sh*t, and I had brothers that were just all over. I had a big house and you’d go into one room and my sister is listening to Sublime and Nirvana, and you go into another room and he’s bumpin’ to Chuck D. It was this super cool thing. It didn’t realize how influenced I was until I started honing in on my own music."
His own music became national news when Waffle House threatened to sue him over a mixtape called “Whiskey, Weed & Waffle House” in 2013, but even a “cease and desist” couldn’t stop the rapper from enjoying the occasional All-Star Breakfast and serving up new music.
Since then, Jelly’s collaborated with artists like Haystak and Li’l Wyte to land on Billboard’s Heatseekers and Top Rap Album charts. Genuine, outspoken and disarmingly funny, Jelly met us in the parking lot of one of Nashville’s coolest bars, the Crying Wolf, to sing his new song, “Why I Get High”, and share a few of his favorite things with us.
Favorite song: Currently, The Weeknd "Starboy"
Favorite restaurant: Goten in Nashville, TN
Favorite bar: Tin Roof in Nashville, TN
Favorite thing/prized possession: I value no possessions, mine or anyone else's
Favorite place in the whole wide world: Nashville, TN