Meaning Behind the Song “Fall in the Fall” by Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings

The meaning behind Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings’ 2018 collaboration, “Fall in the Fall,” has to do with a lot of things, but mostly surviving with the cards dealt. The country rap epic delivers lessons from the school of hard knocks, an institution both of the artists attended and graduated from to become the stars they are today.

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The Origins

Country rap stars Jelly Roll (born Jason DeFord) and Struggle Jennings (born William Harness) have long collaborated, releasing a string of Waylon & Willie albums. Released in 2018, Waylon & Willie 2, the second installment of the four so far, featured “Fall in the Fall.”

The beat-driven, twang-filled tune is “about a soul crying for help from its darkest moments, based on emotions of helplessness and desire for change,” Jelly Roll explained to Taste of Country.

“The silver lining in it, is the parable of the leaves only falling in the fall, is understanding that life is seasonal, not just in climate, but in everything,” he said. “Every emotion from extreme manic to lowest of the low will eventually run its course. The leaves truly only fall in the fall.”

The artist continued, saying the song draws from the duo’s past. They’ve both experienced the “fall” in one way or another. Jelly Roll explained “Fall in the Fall” is “more of a metaphor for the scandalous shit that Struggle and I dealt with in the streets and in the music business.”

His country rap counterpart, Jennings, echoed the same, adding that the song “represents unconditional love and the power of finding someone to stand beside you through it all. Someone who will love you in your darkest hour and help you find the light.”

The Lyrics

“Fall in the Fall” sings of dark times and the people who are there helping us through. Opening with the chorus, the song plays, Baby, if you love me, well please love me now, kicking off with a plea from Jelly Roll. There are times when love is needed more than ever, and in the song, that time is now.

‘Cause baby if you love me / It’s my darkest hour, it’s my darkest hour, the chorus continues against a lonesome twang, If I did you wrong before, I won’t do you wrong no more / It’s all I’ve ever known, it’s all I know, it’s all I know / Baby, who’s gon’ catch you when you fall? / When you really need him who’s the one that you can call? / I don’t give a fuck about it, you can have it all / ‘Cause the leaves only fall in the fall, yeah they fall in the fall.

Jelly Roll then bursts into a rap, rattling off the things he’s done in the past, like Smokin’ weed, drinkin’ liquor / Some of my sins can’t be forgiven. Man my life had tragedy, he continues spitting twanged rhymes about where he came from and how he’s had to live, So they taught me somethin’ ’bout agony / I done seen a lot of shit go up and down / And that taught me somethin’ ’bout gravity.

However, he also raps about all the good that is still to come, saying I feel the good times over the horizon / I can feel ’em comin’ with the sun shinin’ … And I changed my life I swear, through the hard times stood right there / Fuck shit, I did my share but the darkness over and I prepare.

The chorus plays again, a delicate reprieve from the hard-driving lines that echo with the pain of the past.

Struggle Jennings comes in with another verse, rapping about the love he’s found to help him through the worst of it. We fell in love under a full moon, he says with a laidback gruffness against the persistent beat, To the sound of howlin’ big dogs / Early mornin’ gunfire / Blinded by the thick fog.

He too raps of his past in lines like No fear where I’ve been / ‘Cause I’m still good at my worst / Survivin’ off the lessons / Never asked, just shoot first / Though money never was the fantasy / I fantasized about my family / Gettin’ out of tragedy, no casualties, but there is no shame in where he’s been because love seems to have replaced any animosity.

Again, the chorus plays, fading out with the reminder: ‘Cause the leaves only fall in the fall, yeah they fall in the fall.

The Music Video

In the song’s music video, the two artists seem to be up against opposing forces, dodging bullets, and struggling to survive. The pair both have their wives at their side, representative of the stars’ “saving grace amongst the chaos,” as Jennings explained to Taste of Country.

“I wrote this video concept to show the different aspects… in one sense you see that Jelly and I are being attacked and both of our wives are there shooting back,” Jennings told the outlet. “In another sense, you see that two people are conspiring to turn us against each other yet, in the end, they get carried away as we walk away together with a smile.”

While the visual holds plenty of metaphor, many of the video’s aspects highlight things we’ve endured together in the past. “Our 15-year friendship has seen many obstacles and hardships,” he added, “but these records are a testament to our loyalty and perseverance. Stay tuned … this is only the beginning!”

Check out the music video to “Fall in the Fall” below.

(Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images)

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