Slink JohnsonJeff Johnson and Kosine are starting a new series called Mancave on BET, a new talk series showcasing the views of minority men. “We took this to be BET as a concept and have been working like crazy to bring this to life because we just don’t see conversation between men on TV unless we’re talking about sports or Sunday mornings talking about politics with a bunch of white guys,” Johnson told uInterview exclusively, noting they originally pitched the show to the network 4-and-a-half years ago. “How do we create a space where polyethnic men, men of all races, have a space to have authentic conversations about everything from pop culture to love to relationships to money and fatherhood, so we’re excited to be bringing this to BET late night, and excited about representing a space where, in this time and place, we’re not afraid to talk about things that other people are afraid to talk about because we’re bringing men with different experiences, values and opinions to have conversation that’s not about judgement but is about, ‘how do we understand each other better?'”

Kosine jumped in to add an example of a segment that the show has that is unlike anything else on TV at the moment. “We have a moment that’s like a confessional, about hitting rock bottom,” he explained. “And not rock bottom when we first started off, but rock bottom when it was all good, and what that process is as far as picking yourself up from your boot straps, humbling yourself. That conversation is therapeutic, it’s needed, and definitely not one that you see on TV. It’s real, it’s transparent, it’s honest, and very necessary, especially during these times.”

Mancave interviewed basketballer Lamar Odom a week ago, and Slink added some words about how the interview went. “That was a very candid interview,” he said. “I respect Lamar a lot for being able to come in and express himself like that, because in the Mancave, we’re throwing all the bravado out the window–”

“Well, not all of it,” Jeff added in, to laughter.

“Well not all of it,” Slink echoed. “But a good portion, at least with each other. See that’s the problem with men a lot,” Slink suggested, “we want to hold this bravado so high, and now I’m looking at you like, ‘Dude, you got two legs just like me, we do the same stuff.’ So this is an opportunity to come and break down their feelings and emotions, and Lamar was a perfect example of that.”

Johnson has high aspirations for the show. “The goal is to be as topical and current as we can be and we’re excited about the guys that are gonna come through. We’re equally excited about our digital content and our live engagement,” he said. “TV has a celebrity that sometimes you just can’t disconnect, and so that fifth chair on Mancave is almost always gonna be somebody you’ve known before. But there are brothers who are working 9-5, who are working white collar jobs, who are looking for work, or in school, and have insights that are sometimes more profound, but equally as relevant, and so we’re as excited not just about who’s gonna come on in the Mancave, but how Mancave is gonna bubble conversation up with men from all over the country who you may not have heard of before.”

“Yeah, definitely” Slink jumped in. “And you’re getting four guys from different backgrounds, different professions, coming together, celebrating our diversity and our similarities. We’re gonna cover the spectrum in regards to men right here on Mancave. It’s something that every man is gonna be able to relate to, and it’s something that every woman is gonna be able to pull from. Just watch it, 10:30 pm on BET.”

“Way to reiterate,” joked Kosine.

Full interview transcript below:

Q: Why is this show important?

Jeff Johnson: As creator Co-EP, about four and a half years ago, we took this to BET as a concept. It had been working like crazy to bring this to life because we just don’t see a conversation between men on TV, unless we’re talking about sports or Sunday mornings talking about politics with a bunch of white guys. How do we create a space where poly ethnic men, men of all races, have a save to be able to have authentic conversations about everything from pop culture, to love, to relationships, to money, to fatherhood? So, we’re excited about bring this to BET Late Night and excited about representing I think a space where in this time and place, we’re not afraid to talk about things that other people are afraid to talk about because we are bringing men in with different experiences, values, and opinions to have conversations not about judgement, but is about how we understand each other better.

Q: How does the show differ from traditional network TV?

Kosine: We have a moment that’s more like a confessional. We talk about hitting rock bottom, and not rock bottom where first started off, rock bottom where it was all good and what that process is as far as picking yourself up from your boot straps, humbling yourself. That conversation is therapeutic, it’s needed.

Jeff Johnson: And not one you see on TV.

Kosine: And definitely not one that you see on TV, you know. It’s real. It’s real. It’s transparent.It’s honest, and very necessary, especially during these times.

Q: Can you comment on your interview with Lamar Odom?

Slink Jefferson: That was a very candid interview. I respect Lamar a lot for being able to come in
and express himself like that. Because in the man cave, we’re throwing all the bravado out the
window-

Jeff Johnson: Well not all of it.

Slink Johnson: Not all of it, but a good portion, at least with each other. That’s the problem with
men a lot, we want to hold this bravado so high. I’m look at you like dude, you got two legs just
like me, we do the same stuff man, come on, like break it down. So this is an opportunity for
brothers to come and break their feelings and emotions, and Lamar was a perfect example of
that.

Q: What’s the goal of Mancave?

Jeff Johnson: The goal is for us to be a topical and current as we can be. We’re excited about the guys that are gonna come through, and we’re equally excited about our digital content, and our live engagement. You know listen, TV has a celebrity that sometimes you just can’t disconnect, and so that fifth chair on ‘Mancave’ is almost always going to be someone you’ve know before. But there are brothers who are working 9-5, working white collar jobs, who are looking for work, who are in school that have opinions and insights that are sometimes more profound, but equally as relevant. So we’re as excited not just about who’s gonna come on in the man cave, but how ‘Mancave’ is gonna bubble conversation up with men from all over the country who you may not have heard of before.

Slink Johnson: Definitely, and you know you’re getting four guys from different background, different professions coming together, celebrating our diversity and our similarities, and it’s just so dope.

Jeff Johnson: And our complexities.

Slink Johnson: And our complexities. We’re gonan cover the spectrum in regard to men right here on ‘Mancave.’ It’s something that every man is going to be able to relate to, and it’s something every woman is gonna be able to pull from, ‘Mancave.’ Just watch it, 10:30PM on BET.

Jeff Johnson: I love how you keep saying the time, and the location, but I appreciate that.

Kosine: They need to know. Way to reiterate bro, way to reiterate.

Slink Johnson: You know what I’m saying. I’m something like a film.