Jelly Roll at Billboard Country Live in Concert held at Marathon Music Works on June 6, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee
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15 Inspiring Character Studies From Jelly Roll's Massive Back Catalog

Jelly Roll was 16 albums into his career before becoming a Nashville star.

Rarely do country stars emerge out of nowhere. Typically, years of writing songs, touring and cutting albums paves the way for any semblance of mainstream success. In the case of Jelly Roll, 16 hip-hop albums preceded his big-label Nashville debut, 2021's Ballads of the Broken.

Jelly Roll —real name Jason Bradley DeFord— entered the rap game nearly 20 years ago. His self-released albums and mix tapes followed the lineage of country-rap groundbreakers UGK and others. The confessional storytelling that made Jelly Roll a perfect fit for Music Row was there all along, as were elements of hard rock and folksy twang. Plus, the spirit of collaboration in hip-hop permeates Nashville now, as heard on Jelly Roll's work with Brantley Gilbert, Lainey Wilson and others. In short, Jelly Roll hasn't changed— Nashville caught up with him.

Here's the 15 best songs so far from Jelly Roll's multi-genre-spanning catalog.

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