The first half of your 20s is a rush. In just a few short years, the average individual goes from watching out for the cops when they drink to preparing for a career in something they probably didn’t expect — and that’s just the last two years of college.

If someone followed Cody Dixon’s, or Slim S.O.U.L., model for growth, they would “turn the fuck up” in a funky hip-hop duo, then start teaching music to school kids just a couple years later. “We’re both fuckboys — past Cody and present Cody,” Slim laughs. “But present Cody tries to keep it together and not do as much stupid shit.”

Without planning it, Slim’s natural transformation set him up to drop two EPs in succession this summer, starting with Late Graduation, expected by the end of May.

“I’ve been planning to put out at least two or three projects this year and embody the different modes of where my music is going and what I’m doing with my life,” Slim says. “Late Graduation is that college period, what kind of shit I was going through then. It was growing up, a lot of homies were passing away while I was in college and we were all growing up and seeing what life was at that point.”

According to Slim, Late Graduation encapsulates all the stuff he was into in college. There are boom-bap vibes, ’90s rap flavors, and the themes expected from a young man in the midst of college.

On the track “ITS,” Slim and Speakerbox bandmate Mardy Says go in on a chilled soul beat that isn’t too far out of MF Doom’s wheelhouse.

“We was freestyling and steady/ Wiling ’til the sun down/ We kicked back and mix the Xiaolin with the funk sound,” Slim raps on “Zone.”

“When I die don’t bury me like a treasure/ I know I was always selfish with my pleasure/ Plant me like a seed, grow a tree with my ashes/ That way I can proceed to feed nutrients to masses,” he says on an untitled interlude, showing the sincerity he’s known for.

“I loved my college life, the experience and everything, but I learned a lot of shit those years,” Slim says.

Slim’s second EP, S.O.U.L., due out by the end of June, is more about self-reflection and experimenting with what a full instrument band can do live. “I love hip-hop and I like to do hip-hop, and I want to continue to do hip-hop, but love the live band and the neo-soul aspect, and that’s where a lot of S.O.U.L.‘s influences are coming from: neo-soul, jazz, funk, integrated with hip-hop,” Slim explains.

Folks who followed Slim’s career over the last couple years can already see that his live shows have slowly shifted, just like his music and stage name. In a fun Cultura set, alongside frequent collaborator Abstract That Rapper, Slim was on a platform packed with instruments, instead of relying heavily on a laptop with ready-to-go beats.

“I’m trying to take things into a whole different direction musically: integrate more live instruments, more of my concrete ideas instead of just rapping over beats,” he says.

And he adds that the EP will elaborate on that vibe. “For S.O.U.L., it’s more of like a theme of what I have to offer, the live music that we do at our shows,” Slim says.

Most of the EPs are almost done, but the artist mentions that he still has a little bit of work to do before they’re ready to go.

“They’re really loose,” says Slim. “They’re not going to be extravagant, probably just seven or eight songs for each one, and a lot of them are already recorded, at least either demos or full versions. I’m just compiling right now and making decisions on production and skits and collaborations and stuff like that.”

The release dates for both EPs are still somewhat undecided, but Slim confirms that he will put some music out by the end of May and the end of June, even if the albums aren’t complete.

And while he still has a sense of humor about the parties in college and the attitude of yesterday, he’s a little more mature than he lets on. In between his two EPs, Slim is a music educator at Meeting Street Academy and the founder of local non-profit S.O.U.L. Power Productions. “I’m not a different person,” Slim says. “I’m a little wiser. I’m chill now.”

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