An Interview with Rapper, JELLYROLL On His Latest Collection, ‘Addiction Kills’ and More!
Posted On 11 May 2017
Meet JellyRoll! “Addiction Kills” is the name of his mix-tape and it was released on April 21st. He kicked off a headline tour on April 20th. He’s been releasing mix-tapes every few months and has consistently landed in the top 10 on iTunes hip hop charts upon release.
He’s been touring pretty frequently, most recently with Yelawolf.
Learn more about JellyRoll in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? How is 2017 treating you so far?
2016 was unbelievably incredible. So far 2017 is treating me better than the first 29 years of my life, lol.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
It finds me on a plan headed to the first day of tour. My 808 head phones are currently blaring “Welcome To Earth” by Sturgil Simpson– crazy song.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
I have always loved music growing up but thought it was farfetched and that I would never excel at it. My earliest music memories are dancing with my mother in the kitchen to oldies records and Motown, some old country too. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Maybe later in life but right
I’m curious to know how you came up with your name? What exactly is the back story on how you first started getting called ‘Jellyroll’?
My mama called me jelly roll because I was a fat kid that liked donuts, lol. Later my partner One Arm Clay started calling me that on a fly and it stuck. It was the name I used before music. No one calls me Jason really.
How do you think being a father has affected who you are as an artist today? Has it affected what you rap about now?
Being a father has affected my approach to life and being a businessman more than it has my artistry. I made a decision when my daughter Bailee was born that I had already chosen the route that was against the grain in life, might as well wear it as a badge of self-betterment to constantly remind myself how far I’ve came. My music allows me to always tap into that dark part of my heart. If I changed that it wouldn’t be authentic.
Last month, you released your mixtape, “Addiction Kills.” What was it like putting this collection together?
It’s a lot of pain and anger in this mixtape. Most of my tapes are more therapeutic and animated. This one is angrier and honest in a good way.
Did anything surprise you about it all? What were some of the challenges you faced?
I was surprised at how fast the project came together. I’ve always said it’s not hard to write songs about the truth. It’s only hard when you try to fabricate something that you think people will feel.
It sounds like you are in a period of intense creativity since you have been releasing mixtapes every few months. Would you agree with that?
I’m a studio rat. Hard work got me here, not incredible looks and a God given gift. Punches in Bunches so to speak.
How does this mixtape compare to the others that you’ve been releasing? For example, how is it different or similar to your previous collection, “Sobriety Sucks”?
Sobriety Sucks was more of a collection of songs that I felt expressed a thought. Addiction Kills is more of a collection of feelings that are expressed in songs.
Along with a brand new mixtape, you are also about to head out on tour. Where are you excited to perform at? What do you think is the best part and most challenging part about being on the road? How do you keep up the energy night after night?
Looking forward to the whole tour. The most challenging part is being away from my daughter and son and the drives every day in the van, lol.
How was your previous tour with Yelawolf?
Good…we touched a lot of people. Struggle was on tour as well. We’ve been best friends for 15 years, so it was a hoot.
What’s been a favorite show of yours in the past?
The Gathering of The Juggalos and Rock On The Range were the most memorable festivals for us
What do you think are the key ingredients for you for a perfect gig?
Good weed, my tour team and my wife.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music?
I’m inspired by outlaw country, folk music and Motown. This is what’s playing in my speakers the most.
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
The Weeknd, Sturgil Simpson, Kid Rock, Travis Scott, Tove Lo, Rag N Bones Man Tech N9Ne, the list could go on.
What do you think of the other current new and older rappers on the scene today?
I’m one of them guys that cheers for everybody. I hope they all get mansions and leave their families lots of money.
Where do you see the future of rap heading?
I think there will be genres of rap like rock music — Classic Hip Hop, Outlaw Hip Hop, Popular Hip Hop, etc.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music?
The core of it all is that we can overcome. I truly believe that people from shitty situations are the meek that will inherit the earth. These are the ones I represent.
What do you hope people take away from your songs?
Pain is an international language. I just hope they feel me like I feel them.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
God is good, legalize weed, come to a show and have a shot with me. We all deserve a drunken night.