Here’s The True Meaning Behind Jelly Roll’s Apple Core Face Tattoo

This ink is located on the country star’s left cheek.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

July 7, 2023

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Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Jelly Roll is known for having an array of tattoos, many of which represent the previous chapter of his life in jail. However, some of the ink holds significance to his current days as a hitmaking country artist, such as the apple core on his left cheek.

While this piece of artwork could have many different meanings, the truth is that Jelly Roll chose to get an apple core to represent his fanbase, an unofficial group who calls themselves “the bad apples.”

The “Son of a Sinner” singer did not decide on this name of his fans, instead, they first pulled it from his 2014 song, “Bad Apple,” and it has stuck ever since. 

“Some people call me a bad apple/Yeah, I may be bruised but I still taste sweet/Some people call me a bad apple/But I may be the sweetest apple on the tree,” he sings in the catchy tune. 

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The Bad Apples have shown their devotion to the rapper-turned-country artist for years. Since 2017, their private fan page on Facebook has continued to grow with loyal listeners. Now, the group currently has over 55,000 members who regularly share their positive thoughts and heartfelt stories on how Jelly Roll’s music has impacted their lives. 

The description of the fan page reads, “This is THE place to come for Jelly Roll fans. Talk about your favorite Jelly song, talk about what his music has gotten you through in the past. Share your favorite Jelly song or funny moment. All we ask is that you don’t bring drama, and don’t post music that isn’t either Jelly or one of his associates artists. This should be a happy place.”

Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

In May, Jelly Roll once again showed his appreciation for The Bad Apples by using the same name for his newly launched cannabis line. He unveiled the line during a trip to the marijuana dispensary Greenhouse of Walled Lake in Michigan.

“Frankly, Michigan’s got some of the best weed in the United States. There’s no other way to say it. And trust me, I’ve smoked everywhere,” Jelly Roll previously told the Detroit Free Press. “The Michigan weed is grown with love, it’s tender, it’s all greenhouse weed. You never have to worry about getting no mountain weed on this side of the country.”

Following this launch, he dropped his highly-anticipated debut country album, Whitsitt Chapel

Released June 2 via BMG/Stoney Creek Records, the 13-track project debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Album Charts and Top 3 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart with 90,000 album equivalents. 

This places Jelly Roll at the biggest opening week for a first entry on the Top Country Albums charts since the list adopted a consumption-based methodology in 2017. Whitsitt Chapel has also racked up the strongest first week in album sales from a debut country artist release in 2023 so far, and earned the highest charting first-week release from a debut Country artist in the history of BBR Music Group.

Sharing his reaction to social media, Jelly Roll wrote, “Thank y’all! WE DID IT! Y’all came through for me like you always do.. another big step in the right direction for the underdogs … I woke up and couldn’t believe it! Thank y’all again… wow wow wow wow ….”

Additionally, a recent press release revealed that the album claimed the top spot on the Country Album chart in Canada, No. 4 on the UK’s (OCC) Official Country Artists Album Chart Top 20 and debuted at No. 15 on ARIA Top 40 Country Albums Chart in Australia.

The 3X CMT Award winner had a hand in co-writing each track on the project that was named after the church the Antioch native grew up attending. This includes his latest single “Need A Favor,” which is currently at No. 11 on the Mediabase Country Chart, No. 12 on Billboard Country Airplay Chart, and Top 3 on the Mediabase Active Rock Chart. 

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Within the collection, fans also get to hear the fan-favorites like “She,” and three collaborations. Brantley Gilbert and Struggle Jennings join Jelly Roll on “Behind Bars” and Yelawolf is featured on “Unlive,” while Lainey Wilson teamed up with the 38-year-old hitmaker to recreate his fan-favorite tune, “Save Me.”

The album’s release came hot on the heels of Jelly Roll’s emotional documentary produced by ABC News Studios, Jelly Roll: Save Me. With a desire to inspire others to make a change in their lives, Jelly Roll unveils his personal trials and tribulations throughout film, which debuted on Hulu on May 30.

The multi-genre hitmaker is currently preparing to bring his music to the stage in a whole new way, as he embarks on his massive 44-date headlining arena tour, dubbed the Backroad Baptism Tour.

Hosted by Josh Adam Meyers, the trek kicks off on Friday, July 28 at Bank Plus Amphitheater in Southhaven, Mississippi. The Backroad Baptism will run through Saturday, October 14, where the trek will wrap up in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Ashley McBryde, Caitlynne Curtis, Chase Rice, Elle King, Merkules, Struggle Jennings, Three 6 Mafia, Yelawolf will serve as support on select dates of the tour.

In the midst of his headlining tour, Jelly Roll will serve as support on several dates of Eric Church’s The Outsiders Revival Tour. His busy performance schedule also includes upcoming festivals such as Tailgate N’ Tallboys Bloomington, Tailgate N’ Tallboys Clinton, TidalWave Music Festival, and more.

For more information including tour dates, visit

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.