When Steelo Brim left Chicago for Los Angeles, he had one goal in mind: create content. And he succeeded, but not how he initially thought he would.
“When I came to L.A. I wanted to do music, but Rob [Dyrdek, then a skateboarder and fledgling MTV host] would hang out at the studio, and he thought I was hilarious, and said, ‘Hey, wanna do a show with me?’ I didn’t believe him; it was Hollywood talk,” said Brim. “I know going into it the expectations are never ‘I’d be going on for 10 years.’ You go into anything you do, and you’re praying to God that you get greenlit.”
Years later, Brim continues to be a co-host on “Ridiculousness,” MTV’s popular video series, which is in its 21st season. With its format of showing and commenting on viral clips, it anticipated today’s interest in short-form entertainment from the likes of Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
“We’re [beyond] season 20 right now, and we don’t seem to be slowing down; it’s a blessing — caught me off guard and by surprise,” said Brim, a West Side native. “I think it’s efficient. I think we live in a time of people wanting things to be done for them. That’s what the show gives you; it gives you a compilation of different videos — instead of having to scroll yourself and go to find it.
“We live inside of Google and get things done as quickly as possible. So I think it’s the efficiency. If nothing else, [‘Ridiculousness’] is a show you can turn on and still enjoy. I think all those different things combined are put-together elements that make the show special.”
Brim, a Whitney Young alumnus and the son of a retired Chicago firefighter and an ordained pastor, is expanding his palette into podcasting, music A&R and marketing consultation, among other pursuits. He launched a marketing consulting company with actor Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther,” “The Wire”), his castmate in the 2001 Keanu Reeves movie “Hardball.”
“It’s right in hand with what I’ve done in the past; A&R is what I came out to L.A. to do,” said Brim. “If the [COVID-19] pandemic didn’t allow you to center yourself and figure out different things I don’t know what really would. During that time, there’s a lot of different things [worth] working on; I’m trying to follow through on everything.”
On the podcast “Weed & Wine,” which has close to 92,000 YouTube subscribers, Brim and co-host Chris Reinacher smoke joints and sip fine vintages as they discuss topics like social justice, modern-day chivalry, and basketball fans mixing it up with NBA players.
“Chris had been telling me to do a podcast for three years prior to when we even started, and I was just like: ‘No, I’m good.’ As time went on, he kept nudging me, and I was like, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” said Brim. “I’m passionate about things that we discussed in the show. … During the pandemic, there was so much going on. It was so much news coming our way a million times a minute. It was hard at times to even digest it all.”
And what advice does Brim give to someone who has a plan for their lives, and may have to take a leap of faith to make their dreams a reality?
“Do what you feel passionate about doing,” said Brim. “Do what you like waking up in the morning going to, and feeling like you’re not working some days. … I’m a quality guy. As much as quantity is what gets you far in that space, I do still believe in the work. When you put in good work, I’m pretty sure that you will get the results.”