The 38-year-old Tennessee native made an underground name in the 2010s with a series of hick-hop releases, forging a music career after spending much of his teens and early 20s in prison. He began his country transition in 2020, winning fans with soul-baring, therapeutic music that has been celebrated for honest rawness.
Friday in metro Detroit, he knew he was near the stomping grounds of a personal musical hero and influence, Eminem, who emerged from similar tough family circumstances to find his own redemptive arc.
“Eminem is the greatest of all time. There’s no denying that. I grew up feeling the same way. He inspired kids like me. He was early to infuse rap and rock, and I remember early on thinking you could mix genres based solely on what Marshall did. So he’s always been a big pivotal thing on what we’ve done. Plus, being a white-trash kid, you can’t help supporting another white-trash kid. I hope he feels the same about me.” Jelly Roll said.
“I think his music has always been cathartic because even when he was in his addiction, he was constantly crying for help out of it when you listen back to those records. Once he got past his first album, he just opened up the super-emotional side of him, and I think it changed the game for everybody. And he was one of the first rappers who did that.” he added.
You can watch the interview below: