Jelly Roll Hopes ‘Whitsitt Chapel’ Inspires People To Go To Church

Jelly Roll‘s first full-length country album, Whitsitt Chapel , will be out on June 2. The record is named after a small church he grew up attending in Nashville, one he hopes gains a bit of notoriety when the project is released.

“Wouldn’t it be cool to have the record do so well that people just stopped by [the church],” Jelly Roll reflected to 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. 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 might have a bit of a checkered past, which included time in prison both as a juvenile and an adult, for a variety of offenses. But now that he is living a crime-free life, and away from the drugs that he once was charged with intending to deliver, the 38-year-old wants to help those who are trying to mend their ways after committing crimes. While felons are often denied employment, Jelly Roll makes having a felony a requirement for working at his Rolling With Jelly food truck, which will celebrate its first anniversary in June.

“We only hire second-chance guys,” Jelly Roll says. “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.”

The “Need a Favor” singer also has plans beyond employment to assist those with a criminal past, including opening residential centers for those wanting to turn their life around.

“I’m going to build halfway houses and transitional centers — that’s my real heart,” Jelly Roll previously told  the New York Times, adding that it was his own struggles, even as a youth, which now serve as his biggest inspiration.

“I just never forget being that kid,” Jelly Roll said. “Those years in juvenile were so formative, and it was so devastating for me to miss that time. On my 16th birthday, I didn’t get a car; I woke up incarcerated. I didn’t get my G.E.D. until I was 23 and in jail. I just missed so much of life. So I want to be remembered as a guy that did something for the kids in this town.”

Jelly Roll will embark on his Backroad Baptism Tour in July, joined by a rotating list of opening acts, including Ashley McBrydeChase RiceStruggle Jennings, Caitlynne Curtis, Elle King, Merkules, Three 6 Mafia, Yelawolf and Josh Adam Meyers. Find all of Jelly Roll’s music and upcoming shows, and pre-order Whitsitt Chapel, at