Jelly Roll Opens Up About His Past Felony Charges for the First Time: ‘It Was a Heinous Crime, Admittedly’
Jelly Roll has been candid about his past as an incarcerated felon, but in a new interview, he opens up about the nature of his crime for the first time publicly.
In an interview with Joe Rogan, the 36-year-old rapper-turned-unlikely-country star talks about his conviction, which happened after “we robbed a couple of guys for some weed" when he was 15 years old.
He was charged as an adult because "it was a heinous crime, admittedly ... it was an armed robbery, we went in there with a gun."
"I regret it every day of my life," the "Save Me" singer says, adding that he spent much of the period between the ages of 14-25 behind bars.
Though he's long since turned his life around, Jelly Roll says, "I've carried that inexpugnable felony for 20-something years" due to Tennessee's zero-forgiveness policy for violent offenders.
As a result, it impacts his life in ways both large and small: He can't get life insurance and has to pay inflated rates for homeowner's insurance, "if I can get it at all ... dude, I can't even volunteer at the YMCA," he says incredulously, given his extensive work with at-risk youth in trying to keep them from the same path he took in his early years.
In fact, Jelly Roll says he put a quarter of a million dollars into some programs for incarcerated youth in Nashville after a triumphant hometown show at the Bridgestone Arena. He spent Thanksgiving with a group of kids, "and said, 'Look, y'all, I know a couple of you have been in here for a year or two, just like I was. I'm building a studio in here, and I'm building trade programs, and I got y'all's back.' We helped with a lot of lawyers, we worked with the state ... now they're building a new juvenile (detention center) that we're gonna sink millions into, and have an after-care program. I'm gonna do so much for at-risk youth in Nashville," he says determinedly.
He's also doing his part to offer a second chance to felons who've served their time; the singer is hiring felons only to work at his new food truck.