Comedian and producer Steelo Brim is creating his own blueprint for success. He’s best known as the co-host of MTV’s successful comedy series Ridiculousness, where a panel of guest give their takes on viral videos. Also, his weekly podcast Wine & Weed, that he hosts with Chris Reinacher, has over 92,000 subscribers YouTube. The podcast features the two sharing their love of fine wine and cannabis while holding conversations about pop culture with guests such as Michael B. Jordan, Sevyn Streeter, Van Lathan and many more.
As a content creator and entrepreneur, Brim recently signed a first-look deal Paramount+ and MTV Entertainment Studios where he’ll develop, exec produce and appear on camera shows non-scripted and scripted shows produced by MTV Entertainment Studios.
I caught up with Steelo and spoke about breaking into the music industry as an A&R, why he he values audio content, his plans to create more podcasts, and his love of sneakers.
Grove: I read that you grew up as the son of a pastor. Some of the funniest things happen in Black churches. How did growing up in the church inform your comedy?
Brim: I come from a very funny family. A lot of pastors are funny. My parents were funny so comedy was a constant in my household. It was never too strict where you couldn’t have a sense of humor. It’s a time and a place for everything. My parents also taught me that God gives us choice. So I made the choice to make my own comedy even though they sometimes don’t always agree. Haha!
Grove: Was being in church your introduction to music? How did you get started in the music industry?
Brim: I wasn’t a musician but I became an A&R. I was working as an A&R at the time with Songbook Entertainment which was in cahoots with Atlantic Records. I was working with Trey Songz and a couple other artists when I moved to L.A. I was just kind of grinding and doing that and then from doing that, I kind of helped Rob Dyrdek’s cousin Chris “Drama” Pfaff start his publishing and production company. I guess I was always somebody that was connected from my networking and just having a good personality, I guess. But I’ve always just known everybody Drama and I started doing work together. From there, I met Rob in the studio.
Grove: How was it going from hosting MTV’s Ridiculousness to becoming one of the executive producers?
Brim: It was was simple. I’ve been producing since the beginning. I think I became a producer by season three. I was helping out, making decisions, you know, and Rob respected my creative mind, just as I do his. He would come to me and say, “Hey, man, what you think about this?” Or, “How should we do this thing?” I was just giving my input on why I thought something would work, why it wouldn’t work, or what we should do. We just have always had that kind of respect for each other. So the producing title came rather easy because I come from being an A&R. I came from a background of putting things together. So I think it just became natural for me to come on the show as an executive producer.
Grove: After 20 seasons of watching people do some of the craziest things on camera, why do you think the show still resonates with so many people?
Brim: I think it works because you know, we see us in the people on the show. I think people watch these videos and they know even though they can catch everything on camera and they put themselves have been in some crazy predicaments. I watched some videos of the show and said, “I don’t know if I would do that.” But it’s still entertaining. It’s fun for you to know that there are people who are out there doing some crazy stuff. We’ve been doing the show for 10 plus years, and we are still youthful. So keep it keeps us youthful as well. Being on that stage and working the show is still fun to do.We’ll do it forever if we can.
Grove: On YouTube, Wine and Weed Podcast has over 92,000 subscribers. How did you develop the concept?
Brim: For three years Chris wanted to do a podcast. I joke about this, it’s 50% true is not true. The tipping point was seeing Joe Rogan sign his deal for $100 million then I said, “Count me in.”
But on the real, me and Chris have always had a relationship where, like many white people, and not even just the race, but people who come from different backgrounds, you know, we have questions about each other and we want to be able to ask. I feel like it was an easy call for us and we wanted to aim to have healthy conversations that not only we should have but we all should have living and coexisting in America if we want to ever progress. Bringing those conversations that we kind of had over time to the center stage and having these convos and being very organic and be very blunt about how we feel, obviously respecting everyone, but still understanding that in order for us to ever progress in anything we have to understand each other. With understanding comes education, we have to be able to talk to each other.
Grove: How important has audio content been to you as a creative?
Brim: I’m planning on another podcast right now. It s very important to me. When I first came out to LA. I worked at Clear Channel in Chicago before so I transferred my job be out here in Los Angeles. I wanted to be on the radio. I grew up listening to radio non-stop. So with the podcast, it kind of fulfills a more modernized version of my dream of being able to have a pure voice and talk to people so they can hear straight from you. If nothing else for me and media is that if you give people room to create, they will create that story. Now I can create my own story and be able to have this conversation with with my listeners.
Grove: You recently inked a first-look deal with Paramount+ and MTV Entertainment Studios. What was your feeling when everything became official and what kind of content are you looking to create?
Brim: It was amazing. I want to create and produce television and film with a pure perspective from diverse communities. I want to be able to tap into different communities and be able to give them outlets to actually tell the true stories. So often in Hollywood, people who don’t look like the actual people being represented in film and television are the ones molding and telling the story and that’s where the disconnect lies. So I want to be able to be a voice.
With Paramount+ and Viacom, it was a no-brainer. I’ve been with the company for 10 plus years. We’ve built something, obviously with Ridiculousness but we really honestly got to know each other a lot more during the pandemic. I’ve been a creator for a while, I write a lot, you know, a part of me wanted to really sit with Viacom go over what I could bring to the table and what I thought we could do together. After meeting Chris McCarthy, we struck a deal.
So, I’m feeling confident what our agreement that we made together and I hope that the content we make has great quality. I don’t ever have to be the person that makes a billion dollars in life. I just want to live a comfortable life and create work that I can stand by. We have some cool and unique things happening over there.
Grove: Lastly, I know you’re sneaker head. This may be my toughest question. What are your Top 5 favorite kicks?
Brim: Aww man. I have to say the Bred Jordan 1s. The 85 Chicago is top 5 to me. Ohhh man. I love me red Yeezy 2 Solars. The Jordan 6s. I hate because they’re all fairly typical but they’re all great silhouettes. These shoes will never go out of style. I guess I would say it’s the Cement Jordan 3s.