More than a month ago, local hip-hop record label Unapologetic introduced a series of comical skits and interviews called “What You Doin, Nothin?” on YouTube and on its Unapologetic World app. In the series, hosts A Weirdo From Memphis (AWFM) and Cameron Bethany cover a range of topics with special guests that were originally filmed in 2017.
“Initially, we had plans lined up to release episodes with large platforms,” says AWFM. “But every time we would get things going, things would fall through the cracks and never work in our favor. And then, of course, COVID-19 happened, and it just created a virtual environment where we could take the time and we could do it and push it on our own.”
So far, seven episodes have been released, featuring interviews — “Shaved” features Project Pat, and “Eyebrow Meat” features MonoNeon — and skits, as seen in “Master Drill Sergeant” featuring Tutweezy. According to AWFM and Bethany, the inspiration for this series came from natural conversations and jokes share
- Catherine Elizabeth Patton
- Cameron Bethany
“Sometimes, we’d be having conversation, and one day, AWFM, myself, and IMAKEMADBEATS were in the studio, and we were talking about past experiences, and we had the idea to just record our conversations,” says Bethany.
Before filming each episode, the behind-the-scenes crew would help AWFM and Bethany brainstorm conversational topics and would place them on a wheel for the hosts to spin. “Whichever one it lands on, Cam and I will immediately go off the cuff with whoever we’re talking to, just to keep it organic and not premeditated,” says AWFM.
According to Bethany and AWFM, getting out of their comfort zones and switching to a new mode of entertainment was a little intimidating at first. But once they got the hang of things, they knew they had something special in the works.
“It started out as something fun, and the closer we got to finishing it out, we got to thinking, this is really turning out to be something serious,” says Bethany. “And I could see the potential in it. And we just held onto it. We knew what we had once we put it on paper. We wanted to give it our best shot. And none of us really knew what we were doing. None of us are comedians or TV personalities or anything like that. We’re just learning every day that who we are is way more than we think we are.”
- A Weirdo From Memphis
Regardless, the two say they feel like the overall reception over the series has gone very well.
“We kind of second-guessed ourselves, and we didn’t know what to expect,” says Bethany. “But we garnered around 2,000-3,000 views within the first 24-48 hours. For us, it’s just things like the crowd or the audience enjoying what’s coming from it.”
AWFM adds, “The day after an episode will drop, friends reach out or have opinions on a topic. Because we did it three years ago, a lot of times we don’t remember what we were even talking about. So, it’s just exciting for us sometimes seeing what we said in an episode and what our opinions were back then. It’s been pretty cool to have conversations about it and laugh at it all.”
The series is more than halfway to the end of its staggered release, with only about three or four more new episodes left to air. Although Bethany and AWFM don’t reveal much about what we can expect to see in the remaining episodes, AWFM does admit that viewers will have the opportunity to meet a non-human, but “memorable,” friend of theirs in one of the final episodes. The hosts say that when COVID-19 ends, they hope to pick up where they left off and film another season, possibly incorporating viewer participation by asking for topic idea submissions from the audience.
In the meantime, Bethany and AWFM say that the emergence of COVID-19 has given them extra time to pursue and follow up on other facets of their creativity, which continues with Unapologetic’s mission.
“I think some of our best songs and music video-based content have come from this,” says AWFM. “And just living in the moment has allowed this show to get created, and I think we can walk away from it with more talent, more versatility, and just an open mind. It can be discouraging when you don’t know what’s possible or what might be going too far. And a big thing about Unapologetic is there’s no such thing as too far; [we] never put a box around what we could do or what we couldn’t do. And this show is a very big exercise of that.”
Episodes are released every Monday. Download the “Unapologetic World” app on your Android or Apple device to tune in, free.