Jelly Roll Talks Hiring Felons For His Food Truck, Getting People To Church And Turning Antioch Into Motown

Jelly Roll: "Man, if I'm getting people to go to church, I'm doing something right. I don't care if it's to take a picture or not."

Jelly Roll always jokes that he might be skinny if his mom had called him Slim Jim instead of Jelly Roll. And while Slim Jim is a fine name for a country singer, it doesn't go nearly as well on a food truck.

Jelly Roll, who recently revealed his new album "WHITSITT CHAPEL" will be available June 2, has another milestone to celebrate in June – the first anniversary of his food truck Rollin' w/Jelly.

The truck was his childhood friend Jerry's idea. They grew up in Antioch, Tennessee, near Nashville, and Jelly Roll told Audacy they had "been in and out of jail, been through it all together."

The truck is bright yellow and emblazoned with a photo of Jelly Roll making rude hand gestures on the side. While the graphics make it inappropriate to park at an elementary school, the business's mission is full of heart.

"We only hire second-chance guys," Jelly Roll said. "Every other place in the world, that's like, 'If you're a felon, you can't work here.' We're only hiring felons. They run the food truck."

Rollin' w/Jelly comes on tour with Jelly Roll on occasion and sets up business in his old Antioch neighborhood, but has recently expanded its reach. Rollin' w/Jelly was at the NFL Draft in Kansas City, Missouri, last week.

"It's the wildest thing ever. You see it comin'," Jelly Roll said. "They do everything from hot wings to 'Jelly Roll' jelly doughnuts. They do 'Jelly-nade,' which is some really good lemonade. It's that diabetic lemonade, too. It's that from-my-neighborhood lemonade and Kool-Aid; it's the WHEW! It's really good stuff."

Rollin' w/Jelly has its own Instagram page at and people can email to try and book the truck for their events.

But his food truck isn't the only way Jelly Roll is on a roll. He recently emerged as a top winner at the CMT Music Awards with multiple wins and wowed the audience with his over-the-top performance of his new song "NEED A FAVOR."

He said he didn't think he'd live to be 38 years old, much less sing on television. Now, by naming his new album after his childhood church, WHITSITT CHAPEL, he's trying to turn his neighborhood into Tennessee's Motown.

"Wouldn't it be cool to have the record do so well that people just stopped by (the church)," Jelly Roll told CMT. "Because you know, when you go to Detroit, you stop by Motown just to go to Hitsville and take a picture in front of the Hitsville sign, you know? Man, if I'm getting people to go to church, I'm doing something right. I don't care if it's to take a picture or not."

Jelly Roll made music for years before he felt the tide shift in his favor with his song "Save Me." He doesn't hide his checkered past; country music fans have embraced him for his authenticity and relatability. He sold out Nashville's Bridgestone Arena at the end of 2022, where he welcomed various guest artists to the stage, including Chris Young, Sam Hunt and more. However, even with a No. 1 song on his resume, he said he is still waiting for someone to tell him his luck is up.

"It's overwhelming, almost," he said backstage at the CMT Music Awards, his eyes shining with emotion. "It's unreal. I've been feeling it all week, man. And it's crazy. It's kind of like the story of an underdog, too. I'm still the kid that's waiting on this to fall apart. I'm still waiting on them to go, 'Hey, we timed it out. We gotta cut somebody. And, you're number 14.'"

"WHITSETT CHAPEL" is Jelly Roll's first on BMG/Stoney Creek Records and includes his current single, "Need a Favor." His 13-song collection will be available June 2.

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