Jelly Roll, ‘California’ [Exclusive Premiere]
If you're looking for hick-hop, Jason “Jelly Roll” DeFord is your guy. The Boot has an exclusive premiere of his new song "California," from a new project that he will be debuting soon.
"California," the lead single from Jelly Roll's forthcoming EP, delves into the artist's past. Featuring lines like "Trying to escape these demons / But I feel like they keep hounding me" and references to drugs and contemplating suicide, the song doesn't mince words. Press play below to listen, but be advised: The lyrics may be NSFW.
Jelly Roll is impossible to miss: Standing at 6'1" and weighing over 350 pounds, the Southern rocker has a personality and sense of humor that match his size.
“I’m just a regular fat piece of white trash with some real people that relate,” Jelly Roll explains with a grin.
He's also a one-time gangster, the father of a little girl and covered in tattoos.
“My tattoos are not a reflection of who I am at all,” says Jelly Roll. “But they’re a very good description of who I was. I never thought I’d be what I am now.”
Jelly Roll's rocky start included juvenile detention at age 14 and a stint in prison. Now an artist with a sound that he calls "outlaw hip-hop,” he mixes his Motown influences (his mom played him the music when he was a child) with the Nashville street rap that he was drawn to in his teens.
“My music is all based on emotions and stories from my life as well as people around me," Jelly Roll says. "I want to convey to people the power of faith and perseverance, and I hope that it helps them to find a light in whatever darkness they may be going through in their life.
"My ultimate goal is to touch and reach people and have a voice of influence with the youth of today," he adds.
Jelly Roll is currently out on the road, on his Hangovers and Hot Chicken Tour, with special guest Alexander King. The trek is scheduled to run through Dec. 4 and includes two free concerts in Nashville during the week of Thanksgiving, plus a special meet and greet at a local juvenile detention center and Jelly Roll's 5th annual Turkey Drop, which provides Thanksgiving turkeys to those in need.
Listen to Jelly Roll, "California":