The Keep Your Friends Close EP is up-and-coming rapper Dylan Owen’s newest musical project. Its first track, “Bookmarks,” begins with one of multiple segments on the EP that are reminiscent of free verse poetry; these portions are spoken rather than rapped completely in sync with the underlying beat. Dylan tells his listeners that his newest work is dedicated to the camp counselors “who taught me how to tell ghost stories,” and the teachers “who made me write a book report about the story of my life,” in doing so teaching him how to express himself. He also explains that his music is “for anybody who woke up without a feeling or a sense of home, and hates being alone, cause honestly I know how hard it can be to find yourself when you’re lost.”
But what does all of this mean exactly? With songs titled “Keep Your Friends Close,” “The Comeback Home,” and “Ithaca is Gorgeous” (the rapper is based out of Orange County, NY and is a student at Cornell University) it is fairly obvious that Dylan is using his music as an outlet to thank those close to him for shaping who he is today. Rather than proclaim his dominance on the mic with the use of braggadocio, he lets his lyrics do the talking while rapping about items of substance. I recommend at least a quick listen to the EP for those who enjoy hip hop that blurs the line between rap and poetry—Dylan’s work is impressive lyrically, not to mention it also tells a story that is as genuine as any other stuff out there.
Posted below is a link off music blog FreshNewTracks with a few tracks from the EP along with a download link: