3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Jelly Roll

The award-winning singer/songwriter Jelly Roll is not what many would expect when they think of a country music star today. He didn’t come up with an acoustic and a Stetson hat. He boasts a body full of tattoos and a snarl honed from years as a hip-hop mainstay. Nevertheless, the 39-year-old Jelly Roll (born Jason Bradley DeFord) is one of the biggest names in the genre now and he’s only becoming more popular.

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Still, fans of the artist may encounter others along the way who slough off Jelly Roll’s success. They may think he and his longtime partner Bunnie XO aren’t the right fit for the genre, which is known for three-chords and the truth. And that’s why we wanted to share these three songs for people who say they don’t like Jelly Roll to sample and re-examine their feelings about the country star.

[RELATED: The Top 10 Jelly Roll Songs]

“Need a Favor”

Perhaps Jelly Roll’s biggest draw is he represents the downtrodden. He is the skid-row poet of Nashville. His giant, sprawling singing voice expresses all the mistakes he’s ever made. And nowhere is that more present than in his song “Need a Favor.” Released on his 2023 album Whitsitt Chapel, Jelly Roll sings about being down and out and, as the title suggests, in need of help. That’s when he only talks to God, he says. Perhaps if he prayed more often, he wouldn’t be in this place. That’s what makes him so good. He’s relatable.

I only talk to God when I need a favor
And I only pray when I ain’t got a prayer
So, who the hell am I, who the hell am I
To expect a Savior, oh
If I only talk to God when I need a favor?
But God, I need a favor

I know Amazing Grace, but I ain’t been livin’ them words
Swear I spend most Sundays, drunk off my ass, than I have in church
Hard cover King James only been savin’ dust on the nightstand
And I don’t know what to say by the time I fold my hands

“Save Me”

Jelly Roll is one of the hottest names in country music and so is the award-winning artist Lainey Wilson. “Save Me,” first released on Jelly Roll’s 2020 album Self Medicated and later remixed and released with Wilson in 2023 on Whitsitt Chapel, brings the two together at the height of their powers. The acoustic-driven offering is mournful and forlorn and showcases his knack for self-deprecation, damage and lost dreams. In comes Wilson, singing about wanting to save her male counterpart. Life is hard, both know it. But maybe there is some hope and redemption and love left.

Somebody save me, me from myself
I’ve spent so long living in Hell
They say my lifestyle is bad for my health
It’s the only thing that seems to help

All of this drinkin’ and smokin’ is hopeless
But feel like it’s all that I need
Somethin’ inside of me’s broken
I hold on to anything that sets me free

I’m a lost cause
Baby, don’t waste your time on me
I’m so damaged beyond repair
Life has shattered my hopes and my dreams

“Son of a Sinner”

Not only is Jelly Roll a near lost cause, but he is the offspring of one, too. This song, which comes from the artist’s 2021 album Ballads of the Broken, marked Jelly Roll’s formal entry into the country music genre. Singing over electric guitars and snare drums, the singer highlights his penchant for drinking, proximity to the devil and probability for failure. Yet, it’s a testament to Jelly Roll’s talent that he was able to turn this reality into unabashed success.

I never get lonely
I get these ghosts to keep me company
I took the rearview off of this old Ford
So I only see in front of me

Now the past is out of sight and out of mind
Swore I changed, now I’m back chasing these white lines

I’m just a long-haired son of a sinner
Searching for new ways I can get gone
I’m a pedal to the highway
If you ever wonder why we write these songs

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