Jelly Roll at iHeartRadio z100's Jingle Ball 2023

Jelly Roll Says He 'Regrets Almost All' His Tattoos: 'What The F— Was I Thinking?'

Home / News / Jelly Roll Says He 'Regrets Almost All' His Tattoos: 'What The F— Was I Thinking?'

By Afouda Bamidele on March 14, 2024 at 1:30 PM EDT

Jason Bradley DeFord, known professionally as Jelly Roll, recently made a shocking confession about his tattoos.

The country music singer has numerous inked art covering most of his body — a journey he deeply regrets. He expressed his feelings about the tattoo collection in a candid interview, noting he no longer saw the appeal his younger self did.

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Jelly Roll Reflects On His Choices At 17

Jelly Roll at CRS 2024 - Day 1

In a YouTube breakdown of his extensive tattoos, Jelly Roll confessed to hating nearly everything he has done over the years. He didn't hold back when criticizing his past choices, saying:

"I regret 98% of these tattoos, 97%, almost all of them… Like core philosophies, I rooted my life in when I was 17, and now I'm 40, I'm like, 'What the f— was I thinking?'"

"I don't know, I don't like, I mean, I hate 'em all. I don't know where to start," he continued before focusing on the inked description of a baby smoking marijuana on his arm. This art no longer resonated with the entertainer, who admitted to GQ that it was "a little excessive."

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Jelly Roll Covered Up A Lot Of His Old Tattoos

Jelly Roll at the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year Honoring Jon Bon Jovi

In the tattoo tour video, Jelly Roll explained that he had covered up a lot of his "really bad" inked work. An example was the Nashville skyline on the back of his neck, which covered the misspelled phrase, "Surviving the Sruggle," by adding the missing 't' to make it correct.

As for his first tattoo, the "Need a Favor" singer got a cross with the name "Mama V" underneath it to honor a lady in his neighborhood who passed away from AIDS when he was 14. He also reflected on his facial tattoos, pointing out a small cross below his left eye alongside a teardrop.

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Jelly Roll claimed he barely remembered getting the tattoo; however, the larger cross on the other side of his face was a different story. He explained the inked art symbolized a new chapter in his life where he realized that he needed to bear his own cross.

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Not All Of Jelly Roll's Tattoos Are Symbolic

The "Son of a Sinner" singer stressed that most of his tattoos did not carry deep meanings, as some were done during his time behind bars. He was arrested at 16 for aggravated robbery and later at 23 for drug dealing.

Although he hailed some of his former inmates for their artistic skills, Jelly Roll regretted the work he had done as he could only afford "cheap" tattoos. His lamentations continued as he confessed to feeling the difference between his current and past selves, saying:

"I realized that almost all of my tattoos represent who I was, none of them represent who I am. And quite a few years ago, I looked at my wife, and I was like, 'I don't wanna be bound to these tattoos anymore. I want them to be reflective of who I am.'"

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The Country Music Star Is Against The Fentanyl Epidemic

Jelly Roll at Michael Rubin's Fanatics Super Bowl Party

A month before his shocking tattoo story, Jelly Roll got candid about his fears regarding the current fentanyl epidemic and why he is actively involved in raising awareness. This interview came at the heels of his participation in the hearing, "Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl: Public Awareness and Legislative Solutions." 

As someone who has struggled with addiction in the past, the "Save Me" singer doesn't want his children to experience the same darkness. He feared that they might be influenced down the substance abuse path because of the fentanyl epidemic, which reportedly kills over 150 people in the U.S. per day.

While addressing the possibility that any substance could be laced with fentanyl, the Jelly Roll said: "We've seen crack. We've seen cocaine. We've seen opioids. But we've never seen something that is so deadly in such small amounts that's being mixed in so many different things."

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Jelly Roll Is Fighting For His Children's Safety

Jelly Roll stressed that it was high time to do something about the fentanyl epidemic, given the risks it poses to children and adults. Highlighting the issues his daughter would have, the father of two said:

"My daughter [Bailee Ann] will never experience the safety of experimenting with drugs. I know that sounds crazy to say, but when I was a kid, my mother would be like, 'You're going to try everything once. Just be safe.'"

"It's not safe for any kid to be doing anything," Jelly Roll continued, "How many more people does [fentanyl] have to kill a day before we start to care if the number right now is close to 200? I just think it's time to speak about it."

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