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What is the story behind Jelly Roll tattoos?

Jelly Roll tattoos:


Tennessee rap impresario Jelly Roll has a big reputation to go with his bigger body and even bigger charisma.

The talented lyricist has featured alongside rap icons like Tech N9ne and Eminem, and flaunted his country music roots with Struggle Jennings—the nephew of Shooter Jennings.

There’s a lot of fame in his DNA, and Jelly Roll has the charisma to keep that legacy going.

Fans and followers are pretty curious about the rap lyricist, MC, and entertainer with the gorgeous blonde wife and engaging sense of humor, but one of the biggest questions on everyone’s lips is this:

What do Jelly Roll tattoos mean?

How did he meet his wife?

And where did he come from?

Fans also want to know where Jelly Roll came from, how he met his wife, and how much Jelly Roll weighs.

In this article, we’re digging in to give you the answers you need.

Where did Jelly Roll come from?

Jelly Roll tattoos


Jelly Roll—whose real name is Jason DeFord—was born on December 4, 1984, in Antioch, Tennessee. Jason, who was the youngest of four siblings, was born and raised in Nashville.

Jason’s relationship with his parents was complicated at best.

He describes his dad as “the greatest”—a family man working in the family business to provide for his wife and kids.

As a meat salesman and butcher, DeFord’s dad worked long hours.

Jason’s mom fought demons—a battle that she often lost, according to her son.

She dealt with issues with her mental health and lifelong substance addiction.

Looking back on that time, Jelly Roll notes that the only time he remembers his mom being really happy was in the kitchen, alone, listening to country music.

It was his mom’s love of country music that would motivate the sensitive youngster to become a musician at all.

Where did Jelly Roll come from


Before he could start focusing on music, though, Jelly Roll—a chubby, poor, white kid who loved rap music—had to get through his childhood.

Living with his mom, Jelly Roll knew that the only people in his area who “had [expletive] got it from drugs.” And, by his own admission, Jason did—and sold—a lot of drugs.

With that came 12 years of being in and out of prison, hooked on codeine, Xanax, and cocaine.

It was during one of those prison stints that an officer came to tell him his daughter had been born.

It was May 22, 2008, and it changed Jason forever. “I had a great dad,” he said. “I wanted to be a great dad, too.”

What do Jelly Roll’s tattoos mean?

What do Jelly Roll’s tattoos mean


The Tennessee rapper has shared a bit of backstory about some of his tattoos—but with more than 100 unique, artistic, glorious, and downright terrible tattoos, it’s hard to get the lowdown on every single one.

What we can get is an overview.

Jelly Roll often points out that his tattoos aren’t a good representation of who he is now—but they’re a “very good description of who I was. I never thought I’d be what I am now.”

There’s a John 5:13 reference on the side of his face, sitting alongside three teardrops.

In 2019, Jelly Roll told Tattoo magazine that the teardrops were a classic street tattoo reference, showing that he repents for his sins.

Beside that sits a cross—another reference to his Lord and Savior and Jelly Roll’s journey to forgiveness.

On the side of his head, Jelly Roll also has what looks like a scribble of pen inked into his skin.

It turns out that this tattoo is his brother’s signature.

jelly roll face tattoos meaning

Jelly Roll appears backstage at iHeartRadio LIVE with Jelly Roll: A Special Tribute at iHeartRadio Theater – @Getty

His sister was holding onto his brother’s social security at the time he died.

Jelly Roll, wanting to remember something personal of his brother’s, had the signature etched into his skin.

There are several other tattoos across Jelly Roll’s body to honor his fallen brother.

Also, the name of his son is tattooed above his eyebrow.

In an effort to show love to the people who are most important to him—an act he calls “giving flowers while they are still living”—he had many of their names tattooed into his full sleeve.

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How did Jelly Roll meet his wife?

How did Jelly Roll meet his wife


Jason ‘Jelly Roll’ DeFord met his wife, Bunnie Xo, in 2013.

She, too, had lived a hard life—abandoned on someone’s doorstep by her own mother, and put second place to a string of boyfriends and casual acquaintances over the years.

Bunnie and Jason hit it off at that 2013 meeting at a local strip club.

Contrary to pop culture lore, Bunnie was not the one up on stage.

The rapper and country music entertainer was, at the time, working at a club called Chip & Whales–a play on the male revue Chippendales.

The premise was the reverse of a normal strip club—large men start off naked, and women pay them in singles to get them to cover up.

Whether the story is true or not, Jelly Roll’s telling of it hits the spot.

As did Bunnie, who Jelly Roll describes as genuine and kind. “I felt her soul,” he said of the first time he hugged her.

“I could feel the genuine-ness of her. I could tell it wasn’t an act.”


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