Dylan Gilmer (“Young Dylan”), 14, continues to make remarkable strides as a rapper and actor.

“I listened to a bunch of rappers growing up when my father used to turn on the radio and turn on music,” Dylan said, reflecting on his early start.

As a young child, he remembered the songs word for word. His father, Damon Gilmer, recorded his energetic flow. Coming from a small town did not dim his shine. Singing Bryson Tiller’s “Don’t,” drew fans and opportunity makers to notice the talented boy from Annapolis, Maryland.

“Ellen [DeGeneres] called me and that’s how my whole career started. Going viral, going on Ellen and posting more viral videos, that’s how everything got started. That’s how I became a rapper and I also turned into an actor. Now, I’m doing both at the same time,” Dylan said.

Dylan Gilmer (“Young Dylan”), 14, went viral online singing at the age of six. The Annapolitan raps and acts.
Photo credit: Cam Kirk

Dylan aspires to be a top kid rapper in the world who has career longevity. However, he shared that his parents always keep him grounded. The ambitious boy who is the son of DeAundra DeJesus and Damon Gilmer, received the key to the City of Annapolis in 2019. Since that time, Dylan has continued to grow from a pint-sized social media phenomenon to a young man. He is steadily carving out niches for himself in the entertainment industry. 

Dylan had been busy making music like “BET IT,” “I Just Wanna,” with Jermaine Dupri and his most popular song, “Get Litty.” He filmed music videos before school doors opened and began working on more tunes.

“I released a lot of projects this year,” Dylan said, mentioning that more singles will be rolled out. “I don’t ever want to fall off.” 

Dylan’s acting and hosting career has picked up. He stars in “Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan” comedy series on Nickelodeon every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Additionally, Dylan also can be spotted on NFL’s “Slimetime” sports show Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

When cameras turn on, Dylan knows that he is in a work environment. It is not a time for fun.

“I’m getting paid to do this. I love what I’m doing and I don’t want to lose it,” Dylan said.

He added, “It’s very, very hard, but I just feel like you have to have a great support system. You have to have your parents and people around you that you trust, and they know what you can handle. They know when it gets stressful for you. So yeah, it’s very hard to balance, but I feel like as of right now, we’re doing pretty good,” Dylan said.

Dylan, now a high school freshman who balances work and school, remarked that social studies is his favorite subject.

“I love history,” Dylan said, also mentioning that he likes gym.

Dylan said that school personnel sent work when he would be away, but most of the time his parents unenrolled him from school and homeschooled him until he finished work obligations.

Growing up in the public eye requires Dylan to maintain a healthy perspective of being himself.

“I try not to listen to the critics. If people are doing that and criticizing me, I’m growing up but I’m still a kid,” Dylan said, mentioning that he feels like he is doing something good.

Dylan wants to continue making more music and acting, but he has more goals and dreams.

“It might be hard to go to college, if I’m still doing the same stuff that I’m doing right now, but college is definitely a dream. I want to invest in different businesses,” Dylan said, mentioning wanting his own business, too. 

Dylan remains proud to be an Annapolitan.

“I feel like you always should love your hometown because they built you.  It takes a village to build somebody up,” Dylan said. “Annapolis— they helped me grow up. All of my family members are in Maryland and most of my family members are in Annapolis, so yeah, that’s why I love Annapolis so much and the people out here.”

Dylan said that he feels like his hometown already helped by promoting him during the start of his career, when he had less of a fan base. He offered advice to other youth who might not believe that kids can do amazing things.

“Anybody, any age can do amazing things. I just feel like you’ve just got to be yourself throughout the whole thing. Don’t change. Keep the right support system. Keep people around you that you trust,” Dylan said.

Get updates about Dylan’s endeavors via https://www.instagram.com/officialyoungdylan/

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