today, i got the chance to sit down and chat with cole, a 22 year old musician from ohio. most of you know him as “slim reaper” but i got the pleasure of getting to know the face behind the name 🖤 cole was born in a trailer park in norton, ohio and moved to medina, ohio- where he currently resides.
cole has always been the type of guy to keep it real with himself, and never let what others thought of him move him. this goes to say, even the times when he was at his craziest. he was always the type of guy to make people’s heads turn, in positive and negative ways. from the beginning years of his childhood, it was always in negative ways- but over time, his flamboyant personality and creative, passionate sense of music made people recognize more from him. always staying honest and true to himself through all these years has opened cole’s eyes to beautiful possibilities, as well as everyone else’s eyes to what this beautiful musician had to offer 🌺
“When I was younger, my parents both worked a hell of a lot so they weren’t always around and my two sisters kinda helped raise me. They were still teenagers at the time so I kinda got away with a lot since they were living their life. I was the kid in the neighborhood everyone’s parents hated because I was always running around in dirty ass clothes without a shirt on screaming fuck you to everyone around me. I got in a lot of trouble from kids’ moms and dads all the time for shit like that and got told I can’t come over anymore and that always sucked so much. I remember it always fucked me up as a kid just because I didn’t know I was being wrong, I was just being me and having a fun ass time. This was around kindergarten. In first grade, my parents got a divorce and that definitely took a toll on me. I was really fucked up from that and because I had to move to a new city and new school and shit. I had a lot of friends at my old school and lost all of em since we were so young. But I found a friend named Nathan at my new school Highland which I’ve made a whole EP about, and he’s awesome. My first day at recess I saw him sitting all alone and I was like, “Hey you look like my best friend from my old school, wanna be friends?” And from my first day at that school till today we’re still best friends. He and I hung out a lot and started doing dumb shit together all the time. I was always the type to do dumb shit to make people laugh so he’d help me with that and we’d just do random shit all the time at school. I remember we got Sunny D almost banned at our school. We started telling every kid to keep going back and buying Sunny D and bring em to our table and we’d just fill a whole table up with empty bottles. Eventually, you needed a signed note from your parents to get Sunny D and we were all to blame which was funny back then. But he and I were both outsiders and never fit in with any groups. We just enjoyed hanging out together doing nothing really. So as time went on we just grew closer as friends and more away from most of the kids in school. I always had a hard time talking to people because of my anxiety and I hated it so much. I always wanted all these friends and to be a normal kid and do what all the other kids did but I just couldn’t do it. I hated that so much and that just made me not want any friends since I felt weird doing normal kid shit. Luckily Nate didn’t care one bit and was the same and we just did whatever we wanted when we’d hangout.”
me: do you have your own place?
cole: Nah, I did when SlimReaper became a thing. I had an apartment with two friends, then I left and came back home.
me: oh so who do you stay with now?
cole: I currently live with my mom! My step dad recently passed away so I’ve been here with her making sure she’s okay.
me: im really sorry to hear that 😦
cole: Nah don’t be, everything happens for a reason and without that I wouldn’t be making music like I am. I could barely record a song a week back in the day cause I couldn’t let my step dad know I make music.
me: what inspired “slim reaper” ?
cole: The name, me deciding to make music, or both?
me: both! 🙂
cole: Okay so the name… I basically had a hard ass time coming up with a name for a fat minute. Before I recorded anything I had like 3 names. I started as Yung Scum, Psycho Fiend and I know there was another I can’t remember tho, but I didn’t like any of those really and was just trying to think of one. So I literally just said SlimReaper outloud one night and was like okay, it’s like grim reaper which I get called a lot but slim cause I’m skinny af and cause that’s a rap name people often use so it was just like it was meant to be. I said that and immediately kept it.
So making music, I had been wanting to make music for a really long fucking time. In elementary school I’d always pretend to do concerts of my fave songs when my parents would leave the house. I’d just blare music and pretend to be on stage. Till this day I still do that it’s just with my own songs, preparing for when I do finally perform. But I always loved music and tried to start bands as a vocalist but nobody liked how dark I was or the emo shit I wrote. Eventually I moved to PA and had no license or friends there and spent almost everyday after work all alone. It was then I found Bones and I remember I heard the song Cut and it blew me away with the emotion in it. I knew I wanted to do that. Mix rap and emo shit. I would freestyle over Bones songs all day to myself and I told myself I wanna do this for a year and get good at free styling then blow someone away one day and just be like, “Yeah I do this.” Well that year passed and I freestyled in front of my really really good friend Reverend Jimbo. He was blown away and was like “Bro start recording that wtf?” I told him I didn’t know where to start so he got me started cause he had a mic and shit. He told me he’d do it with me and we wrote songs like everyday for awhile. We would just get as fucked up as we can and black out then write and wake up like, “oh shit, we made a banger” haha. Eventually I started to record and he helped me a lot. Eventually I moved out of the apartment Reverend Jimbo lived at and I came home to my moms and got my own studio set up after awhile. From then is when I dropped my first song and really took off. I found Frander from his beats and I asked if he knows how to mix songs and he was like, “Yeah I can help you.” He was so nice and mixed my first ever song and he was like, “Holy shit bro you killed this.” I had 30 followers on SoundCloud and he had 7k so I was like, “Holy shit if he believes in me maybe I’m doing something right.” So then I just wrote everyday and recorded as much as I could and just really dove head first into it all. I’m still a nobody but in every way this is already my whole life. Everything I do is for my music and for my supporters. I never thought I’d be anywhere near where I am now. And I have so much more shit to come out now like it’s all just so crazy. I’ve went through a lot fucked up shit through highschool that fucked me up mentally and just made me close myself off a lot. I don’t open to many people at all and it is hard to for me to talk about shit so with music it helps me open up. Im not afraid to tell my deepest secrets in a song. I’ll go through a bad time with something and won’t say a word to someone but I’ll make a whole mixtape about it and it’ll be some of my most personal shit. I don’t hold anything back and it’s my only way of therapy really.
me: music changes a person. these are the reasons why music means so much to me as well. im so proud of you
me: could you elaborate on some of your toughest times in high school?
cole: Yes it truly does it’s incredible and thank you it really does mean a lot:) but well as I said I’ve always been an outcast who’s afraid to reach out to people so I was alone a lot throughout highschool and that sucked. I always wanted to go out and be with people but I was too nervous to ever do anything so I just spent a lot of time alone. Then I had gotten into my first serious relationship and that ended terrible. I was cheated on and lied to and it just really fucked me up because I was very careful with who I let in my life then my ex just totally fucked me over. That happened at the same time my best friend moved and I couldn’t see him anymore. So that put me in a downward spiral and that’s when I got more into pills and drinking. I didn’t like being sober at all during this time and I was just always so out of it tryna make it through the day. I spent a lot of time in my room and didn’t talk to anyone at all for a couple months. I didn’t hang out with any friends I just became even more of a recluse than I used to be. Around this time is also when I gave up hiding who I was and I began to dress how I do now and stared to wear makeup to school instead of just at home. I got a lot of shit for it and people would outcast me and think I was weird and fucked up because I didn’t fit the pop culture trend. That was really hard because I was just so tired of all these people treating me like shit all the time but I was tired of it so I just started to do what I want. This was also around the time though that my suicidal thoughts started to get really bad. I knew I needed to change something so I forced myself to go to a party. At the party since all I did when I was alone is get fucked up everyone was just like, “yo wtf, this dudes just mixing everything” and so people would talk to me and take shots and shit and I found a whole group of people who didn’t care about my looks and shit. They accepted me and hung out with me for me. I finally had a group of people I could connect with and we all always partied and got fucked up together, this was a lot of fun till we graduated. When that happened every single friend who I got close with moved out of state. I was back to being completely alone again and this put me deeper than I had been before. They all eventually lost contact with me and I don’t talk to most of them any more and that hurt for awhile. Then my step dad passed away and he saved our family and brought us together. That was a really hard time. He had been in my life so much more than my real dad and he taught me most everything I know. That really put me back but then I decided instead of letting all these things that always bring me down, continue to being me down. I said imma use all these hard times as inspiration. I used all my past to create some of my best music. I decided to go harder than ever because music was my life. I already made SlimReaper but I never showed my stepdad. He passed away before I could ever show him my work and now he’s one of my biggest reasons for working so hard. I’m gonna make sure everybody knows who I am and knows what I’ve went through so that way they don’t feel alone.
me: im so happy youre able to be yourself now without feeling like you have to hide ❤️ who are some of your biggest inspirations?
cole: Thank you I appreciate that 😊 but I would say my number one all time never gonna change inspiration is Marilyn Manson. I love that man so god damn much holy shit. Then second would be Bones, then Lil Peep, then Motionless In White, Deftones, Cky, Xavier Wulf, Jelly Roll, and then Lil Wyte. I do so many styles of shit so there’s a bit from each style and where it all stems from.
me: coolest person youve had the pleasure of working with?
cole: So for songs released my favorite collab would be Blvc Svnd and Gizmo. I look up to those two so fucking much. They really push me to go harder and try new shit and to never stop creating because they drop so much fucking music it’s crazy. Then I also have an unreleased song with Omen XIII and J Grxxn and that song is one of the craziest things I’ve done. To work with J Grxxn really blew my fucking mind because he’s helped put on all my favorite artists. He’s worked with all my faves, and his flow/ style is so fucking awesome. I love that I had a chance to get him on a song. Omen XIII is so fucking nice too. He’s been so chill with me and so helpful. They’re both really incredible people. I’m currently working with Rozz Dyliams too and that’s another dream come true. He’s been one of the people I listened too when I first found SoundCloud.
me: im so happy for you, that youre working with all of your inspirations ❤️
cole: Yeah it really is fucking incredible. I never thought I’d be where I am today with my music. It’s seriously so incredible I can help people. I’ve received some incredible messages and I have a whole folder in my phone of them where I screenshot all the amazing shit people say and I look at it when I’m down. To know my songs have helped people through breakups or any hard times in general is fucking beautiful to me.
me: thats so beautiful to hear slim. not many people can pull that positivity out of their music, its wonderful to see you go so far 🙂
me: have you ever had a bad experience with working with an artist? what was that like?
cole: To be honest I can’t really say I have. Everyone’s been incredibly respectful and full of love. I believe you receive the energy you put out into the world and I try my hardest to put nothing but love and happiness into it. I still surprisingly haven’t been ripped off by anyone, I haven’t had anyone do anything to fuck me over, it’s really amazing to be honest. I enjoy working with people so much and just creating and everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting has been the same exact way and it’s beautiful.
me: advice you would give to artists who are on the verge of quitting it all?
cole: I would say, keep pushing. You never know how fucking quick something can come out of nowhere. Shit can quite literally change overnight. Chances happen everyday in the music industry, you just gotta keep going and never lose faith. The hardest and most dark times in my life are when I’ve made the best work so use them for your advantage.
me: your most embarrassing moment?
cole: In music or life?
cole: Okay in music it would be when Rawska and I worked together and I got hella drunk and sang this god awful song and sent it to him to do his verse and he was like, “Hey I love your flow and lyrics, you just gotta find your voice and try it again.”
Personal life, I’m not gonna this is really hard to think of because I go out of my way to embarrass myself and make people laugh at me so gimme a sec hahaha.
me: okay take your time! haha thats why i asked 🙂
cole: Okay I got it. So I had just met this new chick. She was beautiful and I was nervous as fuck when we’d hangout. Well one day we’re smoking and I was trashed and so I’m hitting this bong. She made a joke to me or showed me a meme or some shit I can’t remember for sure but she did it while I was hitting the bong. I started laughing hard as shit and just blew water out all over this girl I was trying to get with. Needless to say we don’t really talk anymore haha she was pissed.
me: 😂😂😂 WTF SLIM
cole: Yeah it fucking be like that sometimes haha.
me: any upcoming projects we can look forward to? 💛
cole: Omg way too many haha. I have my first album 90% done, I’m waiting on one feature then its done. It’ll be produced by all my friends and shit so I can post it anywhere and I’m excited. Then I have an EP called “Moving On” that I recorded in February of 2018, I have a tape called “Lost Cause Part 1.” That’s all done and Part 2 is almost done. I have a tape called “Five A.M.” done that I want to drop, then I have an EP called “Reapers World” barely started. An EP done with Frander, one started with Lil Avril, and then one done with Wzrd Klly. Then another one fully prod by NewEnglandBoy, that’s me and Soap. I have over 100 unreleased songs currently 😎 Maybe close to 200 at this point.
me: jesus christ you put in work!!! 😤
cole: Yeah haha, I took after Bones and literally decided partying is absolutely worthless and even hanging with random ass people is pointless. If you don’t better me then I don’t need you. If you don’t believe in me I don’t need you. I just need to get to where I need right now and that’s my only focus. I have some great people in my life who keep me on track and I love them (you included 😊). Music is all that keeps me sane, as cheesy as it is.
me: have you ever experimented with other genres in your music, and if not, would you be open to?
cole: To an extent, like, I’ve tried all kinds of SoundCloud rap from incredibly emo shit, to heavy metal shit, to more genuine rap shit. I’ve been working a lot more on my rap lately and trying to bring that out this year. I’ve always dreamed of a pure rock band and I also would love to get into jazz if I could learn. But I would be open to literally anything anyone sent me. If you’re a homie and you send me a style I’ve never tried I’m going to gladly work with it and see what I can do.
me: very interesting 🖤
me: some people dealing with depression cant relate to when others tell them to keep pushing on or that theres always a light at the end of the tunnel. knowing what you know now, after going through it, what can you tell your supporters when theyre losing motivation to work on their crafts?
cole: Well all I would have to say is, I’m absolutely nowhere near the end of my tunnel, I’ve been in here in the dark for so incredibly long and have went through so much. But all I can say is that hard work does pay the fuck off. Everything I’ve gotten has been earned. One thing I always tell myself is that as shitty as this life seems sometimes I’m not going out a nobody. Imma achieve all my dreams and be where I want to be before I leave this world. Every day I deal with awful thoughts and every day I think about giving up and letting go. But I have a folder as I said of the messages I’ve received from people and that changes my mind every time. I’ve had people tell me I’ve saved their life with certain songs and that I’ve inspired people to decide to make music. This alone is what keeps me going. I don’t do this for me. Even if I’m not where I want I can’t give up because this is for all the people who believe in me. I want to make it for them. I want to make it and show them everything you can do when you put your mind to it. I love all the people who have came along my way so much I can’t put it into words and that alone keeps me going through this tunnel.
me: so tell us about your big ole doggo 🐶
cole: So here’s my baby, his real name is Methodious although he is commonly know as Big Head. He is about 190 lbs, he is my best friend as I said. He has separation anxiety from me so when I’m home he’s attached to my hip. He’s the most well behaved dog ever. I can get him hyped up and in a playing mood any second I want then I just tell him “be a good boy” and he stops immediately and waits to be petted. He sleeps with me every single night and idk what I’d do without him. I love this doggo.
cole also designs merchandise 🖤
below, i have provided photos of some of cole’s merch designs:
for someone like cole, growing up wasnt exactly the easiest thing to do, especially when everybody’s eyes were on him. out of his passion for music, and the influence it brought, cole was able to pull immense amounts of inspiration and willpower to want to help others through his craft. he used his past as fuel to do the unknown. he wanted to make a difference, like a domino effect. it hasnt taken long for him to start, and hes nowhere near finished 🖤
want to get to know his craft a little better? say no more. below, i have provided links to his-
thank you for tuning in with cole and i, it was a pleasure as always to get to know another talented artist. hope you all enjoy ✨