Jelly Roll Lost Out on His Dream Home Because of Past Felony Conviction
Jelly Roll has completely turned his life around in the two decades since he was convicted of a robbery, but in a new interview, he says he still can't shake the stigma associated with being a felon. In fact, his past recently caused him to miss out on his dream home.
In an interview with Joe Rogan, the 36-year-old emerging country superstar opens up 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."
The singer — whose real name is Jason DeFord — still carries the regret for his crime every day. Since Tennessee has a zero-forgiveness policy on violent offenders, "I've carried that inexpugnable felony for 20-something years," he reflects, even as he has turned his life around, become an award-winning country artist and begun selling out arenas all over the country.
The singer shares that he pays higher rates for homeowner insurance, life insurance "if I can get it at all ... dude, I can't volunteer at the YMCA."
Most recently, Jelly Roll and his wife, BunnieXO, were turned down for the house of their dreams.
“I'm at a place in life where I go to buy my dream home — guard-gated community, golf course. I’m crying Joe, they accept my offer," Jelly Roll recounts. "Everything’s going great. I’m like, ‘This ain’t gonna be real.’ They turn around and say, ‘No, the golf course won’t let a felon be a part of the community.'”
Outside of his burgeoning music career, Jelly Roll now works extensively with at-risk youth in a series of programs designed to help them avoid the path he was once on. He's also giving a second chance to those who've made mistakes and served their time; the singer is hiring felons only to work at his new food truck venture.
Jelly Roll is set to release his debut country album, Whitsitt Chapel, on June 2, and he'll hit the road for his 2023 Backroad Baptism Tour beginning July 23.