The Journey of Jelly Roll—6 Key Moments in His Music Career – American Songwriter

Anyone who’s spent any time in the country sphere these past couple of years has probably heard of Jelly Roll. The Tennessee artist has become a country, rock, and rap sensation, topping both the Billboard country and rock charts. Bearing a unique look more akin to Post Malone’s personal aesthetic—face tattoos, a rugged exterior and all—Jelly Roll pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a country artist today, while still offering fans glimpses into all-too-familiar American struggles, like country and western artists of old.

Videos by American Songwriter

Jelly Roll got his start as a rapper with an affinity for artists like Three 6 Mafia. His upbringing was far from glamorous, as he struggled with addiction, and was arrested as a teenager for aggravated robbery and possession of marijuana, then again at 21 for possession. His dedication to music marked his turnaround, leading to his eventual success seen at the 2023 CMT Music Awards, and sold-out shows on his 2022 and 2023 tours. His journey might have been rocky, but he is admired by his fans for being transparent about his past.

1. Formation of SNO / “Pop Another Pill” Release

During his rap days in the early 2000s, he frequently collaborated with other up-and-coming rap artists, catching the attention of people like Tech N9ne. It was a breakthrough year in 2010 for Jelly Roll, as he put out his song with Lil Wyte—who even worked with Three 6 Mafia in the past, one of Jelly Roll’s idols—titled “Pop Another Pill.” The song dropped alongside a music video, which amassed 6.8 million views on YouTube.

After the success of “Pop Another Pill,” Jelly Roll was added to the rap group SNO, still in the company of Lil Wyte, and joined by BPZ. They would release one album, Year Round, in 2011 on Hypnotize Minds.

2. First Appearance on Grand Ole Opry

By 2020, Jelly Roll began to incorporate more country influences into his hip-hop-inspired beats. “Creature” is a prime example, as it showcases Jelly Roll’s drawl, while he sings to a melody. The song also features Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko. This caught the attention of country and rap fans alike, and in 2021, Jelly Roll made an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Jelly Roll performed his songs “Son of a Sinner” and “Save Me.” When reflecting on the invitation, he said, ‘It’s the ultimate overcoming of everything. I represent a group of people that would have never believed that anything like this could happen to anybody like us.’

He would return to The Opry House in 2022 to perform “Almost Home” with Craig Morgan, a song and artist that sparked his musical ambitions.

3. “Dead Man Walking” Hits Radio Charts

Jelly Roll has seemingly endless crossover appeal. Scoring several hits on country and rock charts, and even a couple of Hot 100 entries, “Dead Man Walking” was his first to top radio charts in general, let alone the rock charts. The song also reached number thirty on Billboard’s Hot Rock and Alternative Songs chart in 2022.

“Dead Man Walking” appeared on Ballads of the Broken (2021), along with “Son of a Sinner,” which also saw major success on the charts. It features booming instrumentals that compliment the song’s dire subject matter—one’s liveliness being lost to addiction, and being just two steps away from throwing it all away.

When addressing the success of “Dead Man Walking,” Jelly Roll wrote on social media, ‘I cannot believe I am able to do this video right now … This is one of the biggest accomplishments of my entire life and career.”

4. Release of “Need A Favor” / Whitsitt Chapel

In 2023, Jelly Roll would release Whitsitt Chapel, his follow-up to Ballads of the Broken and his first full country album, as his fanbase continued to grow. The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and Top Album Sales chart. It is named after a real chapel in his hometown of Antioch, Tennessee, amplifying the album’s religious connotations.

“Need A Favor” was the first taste of the new album, with the single peaking at No. 14 on the Hot 100. It expresses guilt about losing faith until desperation for a sign, or for someone to guide him through hardship. Jelly Roll cries out the lyrics over acoustic and electric guitars, harkening back to country soul.

5. Jelly Roll: Save Me (2023)

In May 2023, Jelly Roll, in partnership with ABC, released the documentary Jelly Roll: Save Me, which sees the artist open up about his struggles with addiction and his mental health. Produced by Edward Hambleton and Claire Weinraub, Jelly Roll: Save Me explores Jelly Roll’s troubled adolescence, through to his ultimate rise to stardom after committing full-time to music.

Jelly Roll spoke on his emotional reaction to the final product. ‘I get to see just a minute teaser of this documentary and I cried I mean, I cried,” he told ABC. “I cried for like twenty minutes after I watched it.’

It is available to stream on Hulu.

6. CMT Music Awards 2023 Wins

After getting his footing in the country music arena, Jelly Roll was acknowledged at the 2023 CMT Music Awards and was among the first-time winners. He took home the awards for Breakthrough Male Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, and the CMT Digital- First Performance Award.

“I want to thank country radio for accepting me knowing who I was and letting me do it my way the whole way to this stage tonight,” Jelly Roll said in his acceptance speech for MaleVideo of the Year. “That means the world to me. And I want to thank the country music community for standing behind me and standing next to me through all this.”

Photo by Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *