Jelly Roll -Nashville’s Inspiring Outlaw!
Early Life and Childhood:
Jelly Roll is an American rapper, singer, father and husband, signed with BBR Music Group known for his hit songs such as “Save Me”, “Bottle And Mary Jane”, and his No. 1 song on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay “Son Of A Sinner” and many others. He’s also done work with artists such as Yelawolf, Struggle Jennings, Lil Wyte and Tech N9ne. Now that you know some of his highlights let’s take a look at Jelly Roll”s challenging and complex past so you can really appreciate how much strength and perseverance it took for him to be where he’s at in his life and career.
Jason Deford (Jelly Roll) was born on December 4, 1984 in Antioch, Tennessee just south of the country music capital Nashville. Raised by his father Buddy Deford described by Jelly Roll as being an old school gangster, a bookie and soft spoken (he’s since unfortunately passed away in 2019) and mother known affectionately as Mamma Roll, his parents later on divorced in his teen years, he also has two older brothers Roger and Scott and an older sister named Shelby. Growing up Jelly Roll was influenced by the the various genres of music his parents and siblings would listen to such as gangster rap, metal, hip hop, jazz, mo-town and outlaw country. So being a young kid surrounded by such a wide variety of music it’s easy to see why Jelly Roll is such a multidimensional artist that can’t be put in a box and labeled has a “this or that” he’s far more complex.
On Theo Von”s podcast ( This Past Weekend) he’s described himself has being a “human jukebox”, also saying he got a his first cassette tapes on Christmas when he was younger, one was Wreck x-N-Effect (90s hip hop group) and 5 were blank because his siblings wanted to show him how to record songs off the radio, from that Jelly Roll started making mix tapes. The community he grew up in also had an influence on Jelly Roll”s musical inspirations, it was a very diverse one where everybody knew everybody.
Now let’s dive into Jelly Roll's criminal history, as I mentioned in the second paragraph Jelly Roll's dad Buddy was a bookie for those that don’t know a bookie or bookmaker is someone who facilities illegal sports bets. Buddy’s hustle was selling football cards ( cards used to place sports bets), Jelly has stated on This Past Weekend podcast his dad gave him and his brothers an option “I’ll either pay you per football card that you put out or I won’t pay you per football card and I’ll let you share the revenue of it”. So this shows that at a young age Jelly Roll was born into a family with a criminal element which ended up being normalized by him.
Around the age of 14 is when his parents divorced leaving Jelly with the choice of living with his dad or mom, he chose to live with his mom because he felt she needed him, having to provide but not being old enough to run a bookie operation by himself Jelly Roll turned to selling drugs and from that came robbing pretty soon he found himself being in and out of juvenile detention, state penitentiaries and group homes, Jelly Roll described the experience saying “My best memory in jail sucked compared to my worst memory at home”. But while he was locked up Jelly Roll would really find his passion for music specifically rap, often getting into rap battles with fellow inmates he was crafting his skills.
Now to put a bow on the story of Jelly Roll”s rise to fame. While Jelly Roll was going in and out of prison he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant with a baby girl, his daughter Bailee and with a baby on the way he knew the unstable criminal life he’d been living wasn’t what he’d wanted so he took that skill and passion for rapping and decided to put it to use. The first time Jelly made money from rapping is after his dad bailed him out of he jail, he told his dad he’s gonna win $1,000 at a rap freestyle competition and pay him back $100 for the bail. Jelly Roll not only won his first freestyle rap competition, for the 10 times they held the competition Jelly Roll had won 9 of them pretty good for an ex convict. After this success Jelly went to release a couple singles like “Kandy” in 2008 and “Pop Another Pill” in 2009, from this success Jelly gained confidence in his skill set specifically song writing and soon dropped a song called “Ridin All Alone” in 2010 with the help of Lil Wyte former member of 36 Mafia.
Seeing potential in the music industry Jelly started making mix tapes and selling them out of his car and eventually went on tour with 36 Mafia. So from 2008 to 2022 Jelly Roll dropped 28 singles and 24 albums, Jelly Roll”s first hit song was “Dead Man Walking” hitting No.1 spot on Media base”s Active Rock Radio chart. Today Jelly Roll lives with his Wife Bunnie and daughter Bailee, he’s still touring with the same hustle he’s always had and still releasing great music so please do yourself a favor and check him out.