Jelly Roll kept his word!
Following a sold-out performance at Pine Knob earlier this year, rumors began to circulate that the “Need a Favor” performer would soon return to perform for convicts at Michigan’s Genesee County Jail.
The rapper, whose real name is Jason DeFord, was fresh off a Country Music Awards Best New Artist win and a Grammy nomination, so when I first heard these rumors, I thought it was a lovely idea but didn’t have much faith that it would actually happen.
I couldn’t be happier to be mistaken.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson stated that he had been in contact with Jelly Roll and his management for about 5 months in order to make this special chance a reality.
Swanson founded the INGITE program at the Genesee County Jail, which focuses on breaking the cycle of generational incarceration via education. That’s why Swanson and the convicts thought it would be so meaningful for the rapper, who spent time behind bars himself, to deliver the commencement address at the IGNITE graduation event.
While the private visit was not exposed to the media or the general public, video of the rapper’s visit to the Geneese County Jail on December 5, 2023 is now making the rounds on TikTok. Sherriff Swanson’s official Facebook page also posted a photo confirming that Jelly Roll had left his imprint on the detainees!
I expected Michigan would get lost in the shuffle between traveling, award shows, interviews, studio time, and family time. I’m confident that Jelly Roll’s visit will have a positive and lasting influence on these graduates, which I hope they will use as motivation and inspiration as they continue to work hard to better themselves. Jelly Roll deserves a lot of respect.
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