Checking in at six feet one inches and over 350 pounds, not to mention covered in tattoos, it’s impossible to ignore Jason “Jelly Roll” DeFord in a room. And that’s before his booming country-twanged voice enters the conversation. “I’m just a regular fat piece of white trash with some real people that relate,” he loudly explains with a wide grin, sending everyone else within earshot into riotous laughter. For the 27-year-old Jelly, a nickname he picked up from his mother and kept to honor an incarcerated friend, humor has always been a way to cope with the struggle he would go through in life. Growing up in the rougher areas of Nashville, TN, particularly the Southside city known as Antioch, Jelly got an early taste for street life and fast cash. “I’ve always joked that Antioch is the cultural melting pot the government uses to test how different ethnicities live together in a lower and middle class area,” He laughs referring to the city’s racially diverse, albeit economically bleak make up.Captivated by the gritty rhymes of local legends such as Pistol, Quanie Cash, Haystak, and Kool Daddy Fresh, it wasn’t long before the music would mirror Jelly Roll’s personal life. Catching his first case at age 14, Jelly would endure an ongoing cycle of incarceration until 2009 which would include intent to distribute cocaine charges and multiple probation violations.Continuing to soak up the sounds from southern artists such as UGK, 8ball & MJG, Three 6 Mafia, Chamillionare and Paul Wall, it was during these particularly dark times that Jelly would turn to crafting his own rhymes as a therapeutic means to deal with his trials and tribulations: “My music is all based on emotions and stories from my life as well as people around me. I want to convey to people the power of faith and perseverance and I hope that it helps them to find a light in whatever darkness they may be going through in there life.” In the summer of 2010, Jelly Roll’s “Pop Another Pill” collaboration with Memphis luminary Lil Wyte would go on to garner over 1 million YouTube views. This viral sensation lead to the SNO group album Year-Round released on Hypnotized Minds in April 2011, a project executive-produced by Oscar winners DJ Paul and Juicy J. Jelly continued his successful 2011 campaign by releasing Gambling On A Whiteboy 4 during the summer and combining his talents with Haystak for the successful Strictly Business joint-album in November. His unique combination of introspection, melody, and punchlines has struck a chord with an ever-growing nationwide fan base and continues to impress. In between new projects, Jelly still finds time to volunteer at and provide financial backing for the local SuCO Boxing & MMA gym to help provide disadvantaged youth with a place to take part in positive activities. “My ultimate goal is to touch and reach people and have a voice of influence with the youth of today, he reveals. “I know that sounds like the opposite of what I’m aiming for by the content of some of my bigger songs, but the real purpose will shine through in the end. Helping people and life in general is a marathon, not a 40-yard-dash.” Spoken like someone who has truly been through the fire, its evident Jelly Roll is on a path to even greater acclaim- and that means a greater change for the world.

Project Pat

Patrick Houston, better known as Project Pat is an American rapper originating from Memphis, Tennessee. He is the older brother of Juicy J, the co-founder of Three 6 Mafia.Music careerMusic beginnings and Ghetty GreenProject Pat began his career with appearances on his brother Juicy J's early releases with DJ Paul in the early 1990s. After serving several years in prison for robbery charges and disappearing from recording, he re-emerged in 1999 with the solo album Ghetty Green, released on his brother's Hypnotize Minds label. He became an unofficial member of Juicy and Paul's newly established group Three 6 Mafia, and first gained mainstream attention when he provided the hook for the group's hit single "Sippin' on Some Syrup" in 2000.2000–05: Mista Don't Play: Everythangs Workin and Layin' Da Smack DownHouston released his breakthrough second studio album Mista Don't Play: Everythangs Workin' on February 27, 2001. The singles "Chickenhead" and "Don't Save Her" gained national radio airplay as well as music videos frequently played on BET and MTV.Shortly after the release of Mista Don't Play Houston was charged with a parole violation and began a 4-year prison sentence after illegal guns were discovered in his car during a traffic stop. His third album Layin' Da Smack Down was released in 2002 shortly after the beginning of the sentence and featured a music video made for "Make Dat Azz Clap".

Haystak

Initially known best for being a huge white-boy rapper from Tennessee, Haystak overcame his anomalous status with time as listeners learned to cherish his sincerity. Unlike many of his Southern peers, Haystak didn't embrace materialism and greed; he rapped about his life as so-called "white trash," exploring the social dimensions of being white and underprivileged in the South. Following the success of fellow white-boy rappers Eminem and Bubba Sparxxx, Haystak found it easier to earn respect in an industry that had long frowned upon white rappers, particularly those from the country.

Born Jason Winfree in Nashville, TN, to teenage parents and raised by his grandparents, Haystak grew up among impoverished surroundings. He turned to crime as he came of age, ultimately getting busted for bringing Valium and cocaine to school at age 15. After serving a two-year sentence, Haystak turned to rap music as his salvation. Few gave the mammoth country boy a chance to succeed, however. In the late '90s he defied the odds by aligning himself with a local rap label, Street Flavor, and producers Kevin Grisham and Sonny Paradise. The partnership resulted in Mak Million, Haystak's 1998 debut album, followed two years later by Car Fulla White Boys. By this point Haystak had garnered a substantial regional following, and underground hardcore rap publication ~Murder Dog especially championed the blossoming rapper. The ensuing buzz attracted Koch Records, who signed Haystak and re-released Car Fulla White Boys in late summer 2000. Two years later, Koch released Haystak's third album, The Natural.

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