Even if his music is mostly in the hardcore camp, Tennessee rapper Jelly Roll arguably became the quintessential hick-hop artist when a 2013 beef with the Waffle House chain of restaurants helped launch his career. Born Jason DeFord, Jelly Roll began rapping around 2005, and started to break through the underground thanks to collaborations with Lil Wyte and Haystak. In 2011, he joined Wyte and BPZ in the group SNO, who released Year Round, an album produced by DJ Paul and Juicy J and released on the Three 6 Mafia-associated label Hypnotize Minds.
Jelly Roll's independent debut album, The Big Sal Story, appeared in 2012, then in 2013 he announced his Whiskey, Weed, & Waffle House mixtape, quickly drawing the attention of the breakfast restaurant chain's legal department. After a cease-and-desist letter from Waffle House, and some nasty online posts from Jelly Roll, the two parties settled their beef with the mixtape renamed Whiskey, Weed, & Women, while the 450-pound rapper declared the chain was still his favorite. By the end of the year, he and Haystak released the collaborative album Business as Usual. The solo album Biggest Loser followed in 2014, along with the EP Whiskey Sessions. Two years later he was back with Sobriety Sucks, which featured Struggle on "Train Tracks" and Alexander King on "Need Nobody." The album became his first to chart, hitting Top Heatseekers, Independent Albums, and even the R&B Albums chart. ~ David Jeffries