By Maxim Mower
The ‘Need A Favor’ hitmaker made the comments during his recent appearance on the Full Send Podcast, with Jelly underlining, “Country is as big and as cool as it’s ever been right now”, before sharing his pride at being talked about in the same circles as Morgan and Zach, “It’s a really cool moment to be in country music - I’m honored to be in the middle of the wave that is country music right now”.
Jelly Roll claimed that Morgan should receive most of the praise for country's popularity boom, with Jelly's fellow Tennessee native having dominated the 2023 all-genre charts with his One Thing At A Time album and its infectious single, ‘Last Night’.
Rather than conveying any hint of jealousy, Jelly emphasised how Morgan and Zach's megastar status has introduced more listeners to other country artists, “Morgan Wallen is almost single-handedly doing that. Him and Zach Bryan, to me, are doing it by themselves...They’ve brought the national spotlight to the rest of us. We’re all just trying to get a little piece of that sunshine they brought over here”.
He touched on what he perceives to be Morgan Wallen's secret weapon, as well as lamenting the fact that he doesn't always receive the critical acclaim he's due, “His voice is so good. His songs are so good. Morgan is a songwriter, dude - he’ll cut outside songs, but his ear, his understanding, his songwriting...The streams give him the credit he deserves, but critically, he’s more brilliant than he gets credit for. He's truly brilliant. I’ve been in the room with him. He is special”.
Jelly Roll concluded, “To me, all this boils down to songwriting. Like, who can actually hold their weight?…Morgan’s brilliant”. Throughout the conversation, Jelly echoed the sentiments he expressed during a discussion with Theo Von and Ernest earlier in the year.
On Theo's This Past Weekend podcast, Jelly spoke about Morgan's well-earned success, “Him getting 11 Billboard Music Awards was deserved...Him, Taylor and Zach are the juggernauts of streaming....it doesn't even get close. Morgan, Zach and Luke Combs are the three biggest streamed artists in country music...”
He stressed, “It don't get no bigger than Morgan Wallen - on Earth. He's bigger than Bad Bunny, he sold more records...It's like all that shit you think was doing great, Morgan just came in and was like, ‘Hold my beer’...He's in such a stratosphere of his own”.
With Morgan Wallen's newly revamped edition of ’Spin You Around (1/24)’ having leapt up to the No. 1 spot shortly after its release, it's safe to say few would argue with Jelly Roll's assessment. Following the ground-breaking numbers posted by One Thing At A Time, it'll be fascinating to see the even greater heights Morgan's upcoming 2024 album, which he'll begin recording at the end of February, takes him to.
For more on Jelly Roll, see below:
Featured photo by Laura Ord